Mr Ragbones Curiosity Shop Vol. 1
Tell us about yourself and your music
I began playing drums in local bands in junior high school. I started playing guitar and piano at the same time and began an interest in songwriting. My biggest influences growing up were American songbook composers like Gershwin, Porter, Rogers, Bernstein, and of course the Beatles. I bought my first reel to reel tape recorder in high school and started to record using sound on sound. I eventually went to the University of Colorado College of Music and studied composition and theory at The Aspen School of Music in the summer months.
After graduating I stayed in Aspen and performed in local nightclubs as a singer-songwriter mostly playing covers but throwing in an original now and then. I realized that if I was serious about advancing my career I should move to Los Angeles which is what I did.
I played in some show bands and did some occasional recording and few songwriter showcases, but life was hard there and most players would play for free for the exposure. I worked in the Oberheim factory in the day, assembling synthesizers and circuit boards.
Eventually, I moved to San Francisco and played in clubs there. I got married and moved to a ranch in Lake Tahoe where I have a recording studio and work on a variety of music. I love all genres and enjoy composing in each of them.
Talk to us more about your latest release
I had played in a country band in high school and had some interest in it which lay dormant for many years as I pursued Jazz and Symphonic Music. I was working in Florida at a restaurant and hotel where I had to hire bands to play. One of them was Sterling Magee, legendary Delta Blues player who recorded with Bo Diddley, James Brown, Chuck Berry, George Benson, and Bono and U2. I got to sit in with the band on different instruments and came to appreciate the Blues. Having grown up in St. Louis I was exposed to it at an early age, listening to Albert King, Blues Breakers, Al Kooper, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson. Getting back to Tahoe and writing again lent itself to falling into this genre with some southern Bluegrass thrown in for good measure. It was a lot of fun to write, perform, and records with all of the new technology available today. It is incredible the quality of sound you can achieve today in the comfort of your own home.
What inspired you to write this release?
I have been in the music business off and on for my entire life, and I’m at a point where I can finally focus on it. I remember studying Charles Ives in college and learning that he was in the insurance business his entire life and began to compose after he retired. I thought that was so sad back then.
Describe the writing and recording process
I use various recording techniques. My primary DAW is Samplitude ProX but I also use PreSonus Studio Pro. East-West Quantum Logic is my go-to sampler for the most amazing sounds I have ever heard. I also use add on VST like Altar Boy and Melodyne and Real Tracks. My three keyboards are a Korg Krome 88, Kurzweil K-2000, and a Roland XP80 Workstation. Additionally, I have two sets of drums, one electronic the other a 7pc Ludwig set with Zildjian I series cymbals. Assorted guitars from a Martin D-45, D-18, Tele, Strat, Ibanez 12st, and Bass. I start by just improvising and trying to come up with a groove and an idea for a lyric. Then I cut and paste and do all the magic that it takes to make it sound like a band.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
Not at this time due to current circumstances
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Americana is the best way to describe my music.
Who have you been listening to lately?
All kinds and all styles. Love Jacob Collier. Such an incredible talent.
Who are your biggest influences?
Beatles, Cole Porter, The Gershwins, Richard Rodgers, and Lorenz Hart, Stephen Sondheim, and of course Stevie Wonder.
Tell us about your passions
Cooking Gourmet, Flying. Horses, Flyfishing, Learning French and studying Vortex Math and Sacred Geometry.
What else is happening next in your world?
Working on Vol 2. Also working on a Soundtrack for a Netflix movie.
Thanks for an awesome interview, All The Kingz Horses