Ragbirds fly to Finn’sWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
From her teenage days of listening to Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Sting, worldly instruments have been a major influence in Erin Zindle’s music career.
“My love for world music started around then, as a teenager. I started writing songs around then and as I’ve grown over the years, these sounds I’m so emerged in and in love with have kind of found their own way into my songs and my writing in one way or another,” she said.
Zindle is the frontwoman, fiddler, banjo and mandolin player of the Ann Arbor based Ragbirds, who are set to play its 8:30 p.m. gig at Mickey Finn’s April 21.
The Ragbirds are defined by its website as a fusion of folk rock with some danceable beats along with Zindle’s Celtic style fiddle playing.
“[The audience] can expect to see a diverse range of music but there is also a common thread throughout, which mostly has to do with my vocal and violin parts,” Zindle said. “One may be a tango and the next is an African drum piece and the next is Latin. It keeps people interested and it’s a lot of fun for us.”
While studying her family’s roots and culture, Zindle learned more about Celtic music, another influence. Aside from its typical song list, the Ragbirds bring styles such as Latin dance and African drum pieces. Each member plays a drum and Zindle said it helps establish communication between the band mates during the set.
“The music is polyrhythmic and you have a whole bunch of people listening to each other really well to make the piece make sense,” she said. “It’s a good thing to learn. I found out the players change over the years, but every time we get a new player we teach them the African drum pieces and it’s just a good way to rehearse and tighten up as a band.”
Aside from Zindle, the Ragbirds is comprised of guitarist T.J. Zindle, brother of the frontwoman, Brian Crist on bass, Loren Kranz on drumset and Erin Zindle’s husband Randall Moore as a general percussionist.
The married couple met prior to the formation of the Ragbirds while traveling in similar musical circles. Moore was a guest performer in Zindle’s former band. When that group split, the duo played in a few different bands together as well as street performing in Ann Arbor.
“As we were dating we would perform in the street for tips in downtown Ann Arbor and get enough money for cocktails later in the night,” Moore said. “We definitely bonded over music.”
The band name, coined by Zindle, comes from an unexplainable childhood fascination with birds.
The band is raising funds for its fourth studio album, with help through the Kickstarter program. Kickstarter is the world’s largest fundraising project for artists ranging from literature to fine arts to performing musicians.
Moore said the artist sets a fundraising goal and fans, friends and family are able to make pledges to help fund the project.
“We used Kickstarter as a way to get our fans involved in the recording process and it also helped raise money to help us because we’re an independent band and we’re recording solely on our own is a very expensive process,” he said. “Instead of going into debt over it, we decided to use Kickstarter.”
The Ragbirds’ goal of $10,000 was met recently and as of April 19, more than $13,000 has been raised, according to the band’s website.
Moore said they were able to raise money quickly through an incentive program ranging from autographed albums to merchandise and the largest incentive being a private performance by the Ragbirds.
“We’re really blessed by the amount of supporters,” Moore said.