Show Preview: The Ragbirds, Yacht Club 4/2

$8, doors at 9:00, show at 9:30.

The members of The Ragbirds, an Ann Arbor-based folk and afro-beat group, have toured 40 states to the tune of 150+ shows a year since 2006, but only made their first visit to Iowa on December 1, 2010. How did they not know we’d love them here?

RagbirdsThe band’s lineup features Erin Zindle as a strong female lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo) alongside her brother TJ Zindle’s tight, bouncy and occasionally psychedelic guitar fronting a talented and energetic rhythm section consisting of Brian Crist on bass, Erin’s husband, Randall Moore, on congas, tabla, djembe, timbales, bongos, and Loren Kranz on the drumset. Their sound moves fluidly from Africa to India to Americana, but never loses a self-described “infectious global groove.”

Listen to The Ragbirds’ December 1, 2010 performance at the Iowa City Yacht Club on

If the group wasn’t feeling the love after a Wednesday night IC gig in the depths of winter, it should be sold after this weekend, which kicked off with Friday night’s five-year anniversary show for Davenport’s Redstone Room, and gets even better with tonight’s Mission Creek performance at the Yacht Club. They’ll be opening for one of Iowa City’s premier guitar-slingers, Dennis McMurrin and the Demolition Band.

Ragbird's Kickstarter
93 Backers $5,288 pledged of $10,000 goal 18 days to go funding the new album

The Ragbirds hold themselves to a progressive standard as an independent band. Besides living their dedication to eco-friendly touring by driving a vegetable-oil-powered van (nicknamed Cecelia after the patron saint of music) the group is funding their new album through Kickstarter. For those who don’t know about the site’s progressive model for raising money , here’s how it works:

1) Set a goal and a deadline for your campaign .

2) Offer clever rewards and make a creative video pitch to convince people to support your project.

3) Reach your goal by your deadline, or none of the promised donations and rewards are exchanged.

The band is only 18 days away from their Kickstarter funding date, so Be The Wheels and bust out a few dollars for this hardworking group of musicians–and if you’re not already busy with one of the many great MC 2011 activities tonight, check out The Ragbirds’ show tonight at the Yacht Club at 9PM.

1/12/11 – Music City Roots, Nashville TN from The Ragbirds on Vimeo.

For fans who want to dig deeper into the band’s creative process, check out Ebird Says, Erin’s blog, where she most recently asks herself a burning question that many songwriters face:

“So, after 43 songs have been sung, what more do I have to say?”

Find the Ragbirds on twitter, facebook, and on the web.

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