Lonely End of Town
The Ragpickers. The name conjures images of the downtrodden, the lowest of the low, that old man you used to see when you were a kid, pushing his worn cart full of rags down the street. Well, that's an image that we appreciate and remember well. The Ragpickers have produced this musical offering that is meant to invoke some images of the past, but also a future bright with hope. The opening song, The Nest, has been a part of Kent's musical heritage for many years, (Thanks, Mike). He brought it from Chicago's West Side to the Arizona desert for some re-thinking and a fresh perspective on the age old question of "honey what are we gonna do tonight". Be careful out there. The follow up to that is, How The Other Half Lives, a romp thru the life of the typical starving musician, with high hopes and a wife that understands, which is not so typical. Maybe this is the Ragpickers autobiography. The desert has many moods and environments, and where the Ragpickers live is right in the middle of one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. Desert Skies will take you from morning thru the desert night in a sweeping piece that will have a calming effect on you as the desert, at it's best, comes to life. The Natural Anthem is a piece that Kent started working on 5 years ago when The Ragpickers studio was in it's infancy. It features some great saxophone work from Kent's cousin and mentor Mark Erdman. When all the studio computers crashed hard, the only track that could be salvaged was the sax. This was a blessing because Mark had taken ill and had passed away. Kent set about re-recording all the tracks with Bob, and called in Tomek Piasecki for the keyboard parts and now here it is out there in the world. Mark would be proud and we hope you enjoy this hard driving composition ! Broke Love And Money. We all get the blues right ? Ever wonder where they come from ? This song should explain. A ZZ Top/Mark Knopfler inspired hybrid that should have you rocking real quick. Nuff said. Gypsy Curse is the perfect lesson in how NOT to behave when Mardi Gras is in full swing in New Orleans. You can make mistakes in your life, but be prepared to pay the consequences.......forever. Again Mark on flutes and Tomek on keyboards. Thanks guys. The Ragpickers inhabit the desert and are acutely aware of the border situation. A Ladder Straight To Hell is an attempt to express how it must feel out there when the desert and the people you are with are at their worst. We don't make the news we just report it. Do you ever wonder if our Intelligence community is in bed with terrorists? Johnny And Belinda will answer this question for you. Finally, Scram is a little ditty Kent did for another project that was discarded and left for dead on the studio floor. He resurrected it and placed it here as a way of saying "ADIOS" Kinda sounds like he called it in on the phone as he was leaving doesn't it ? This CD was recorded in Ragpickers Studio in Mesa, Arizona by Kent Van Dahm and Bob Gontarz. We used a very simple console, some great equipment, (Thank you Fender and Gibson) and a big honkin computer to record it. Kent plays guitar, bass, percussion, did most of the vocals and programmed the drum machine, was the recording engineer and mastered the entire project. Bob plays guitar, bass, did a bunch of the keyboard tracks and added his dulcet vocal tones to "The Nest". Bob is the "go to" guy for all the web stuff and handles the CD Baby account. Bob is also a great amplifier and electronics repair guy so all the gear worked all the time. Mark Erdman plays sax and flutes on tracks 4 and 6. Tomek Piasecki plays keybord on tracks 4 and 6. Thank you Richard Bennett, for your kind words and for being our friend. Can you get Mark to listen to our stuff ? We wish................................... If you are reading this please go to our MYSPACE page and check us out a little more. Just search for "ragpickers" and we will appear before your very eyes ! The Ragpickers studio is available for your use and "The Ragpickers" can even serve as your backup band if you are a soloist and need a band for your CD. Hell, we're starving and need the work...