$12 General/$9 (Sr/Jr)
Hot Gonzo Primitive Folk Jive !!!!
Roots music! That’s probably the impression that comes to the mind of anyone seeing The Cold River Ranters for the first time. And it’s a pretty reasonable conclusion. A lot of the band’s repertoire is made up of the older kinds of American folk music—Appalachian fiddle tunes, sea chanteys, riverboat songs, blues and folk dance music from the black South, and the jug band music that came out of the black experience, as well. Also there are Celtic pieces, which are related to the Americana the Ranters perform.
However, there are some unusual tunes that fit very well with the others on stage, but don’t seem to fit the categories that one might be reaching for to describe the band. On any given night you might hear a tribal melody from Africa, a lilting tune from high in the Himalayas, a catchy dance rhythm from the Caribbean, or an ecstatic number from the Indian Subcontinent. And there are the originals that reflect all of these influences. Oh, yes, don’t be surprised to hear a cut or two from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, and John Prine. What ties it altogether is the mad energy the Ranters put into every piece of music they perform and the primitive folksiness they seem to thrive on. There is a lifting power in each performance that you are just not going to get with the majority of folk acts.
Banjo, mandolin, resonator guitar, acoustic bass and accordion—the Cold River Ranters proudly present the traditional instruments from the American past. But how about alto saxophone, clarinet, parlor bagpipes, or bamboo flute? The Ranters don’t have a museum-like approach to their music, which would have the tunes remain preserved and untouched in glass cases. Instead they see traditions as alive and ever-changing, so they have no problem with introducing out-of-the-ordinary instruments into the mix—nor in digging up old relics that have nearly been forgotten and figuring out how to include them as well, instruments like jaw harps, jawbones, metal jugs, bones and gopichandras. They use these seeming oddities not as novelties to get a few laughs from an audience, but because they are as useful in creating the Ranter sound as a banjo or a steel-bodied guitar.
Energy and artistic integrity is the key to the band’s expression. The melodies reflect various cultural traditions, but the pulse created by the musicianship, the unique blend of the instruments themselves, and the blood- and-guts stylings of the lead singers take the music to unexpected places.
Think acoustic, think folksy, but anticipate an edge beyond.
A night with the Cold River Ranters is always a celebration!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
$12 General/$9 (Sr/Jr/Advance)
If you wish to mail a check for advance reservations, make the check payable to Monadnock Folklore Society and mail (so we receive the check at least 1 week before the concert) to the address on our Contact Us page.