Ask The Ragbirds how to describe their hard-to-define Folk Rock and World fusion and they’ll tell you it’s “infectious global groove”. Led by fiery front-woman Erin Zindle, they put on a show that is designed to engage the audience on many levels – to get people thinking, listening and dancing. As the band’s founder and songwriter, Zindle is like a bright excited tour guide through a beautiful foreign world of sights and sounds. Her earthy-sweet voice is the center of the storm of energy around her – the whirlwind of guitarist T.J. Zindle and dynamic bassist Max Lockwood spinning over the ethnic grooves of drummer Loren Kranz and percussionist Randall Moore. Amidst this blissful, restless energy Zindle skillfully switches between violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion, and percussion in addition to singing lead vocals (all while dancing!)
The musical roots of The Ragbirds sound are complex – with Gypsy, Middle-Eastern, Americana, Rock, and Latin influences, all stirred with a Celtic fiddler’s bow. In live performances the band incorporates variations on traditional African drum pieces, each member trading their instrument for a hand drum. The Ragbirds craft their songs carefully weaving joy and hope into honest lyrics, while keeping an ear always open to improvisation. The songs carry a positive message that appeals to listeners of all ages. For all the intensity of their live show, this is a band that is not afraid to show their softer side with acoustic tunes that are anything but typical folk.
The Ragbirds began in 2005 with the release of their debut CD, Yes Nearby, an independently produced and released full-length album. After receiving overwhelming local praise for Yes Nearby, the band began touring the country. In June 2007 The Ragbirds released their second studio release, Wanderlove, which has a world-travel theme with a pop appeal and was the number one selling album on Homegrown Music Network by the Fall of 2008. In February of 2009 Wanderlove was released on Buffalo Records in Japan.
Described as “Astounding International Eclecticism!” by Reveal Arts Magazine, The Ragbirds have become one of the most popular touring bands in their home state of Michigan, and can also be seen performing all over the Mid-West and beyond, growing a loyal fan base in regions all over the country. The Ragbirds have played between 120-150 shows per year for the past few years, and have no intention of slowing down. In 2009 they went abroad to tour Japan and perform on the main stage at the Green Room Festival in Yokohama.
Traveling in a van that runs on Recycled Vegetable Oil in order to promote sustainability, The Ragbirds have performed to enthusiastic audiences in 20 states so far, including major markets such as New York City, Nashville, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Indianapolis and many more. They have been featured at some of the Mid-West’s largest music festivals and have shared the stage with Mickey Hart, Sam Bush, Tony Rice, George Clinton & P.Funk, Railroad Earth, Toubab Krewe, Hot Buttered Rum, Giovanni Hidalgo, Donna The Buffalo, Jeff Daniels, Tea Leaf Green, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Mamadou Diabate, The Duhks, Wookiefoot, and more.
2009 Finally Almost Ready
2006 Catching Fire (recorded live in Ypsilanti)
2005 Yes Nearby
2005 Washed Away (single, profits donated to Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund)