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Ragbirds aim to fly at Columbus concert

Courtesy of Joe Choma

Inside of an eco-friendly, vegetable-oil-fueled tour bus are five band members with the ability to use eight different instruments, and they’re headed for Columbus.

The Ragbirds will play at Woodlands Tavern in Grandview Heights at 11 p.m.

The Ragbirds combine influences of folk, pop and rock with a Celtic feel. Frontwoman Erin Zindle said in an email she was inspired by artists such as Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Rusted Root.

Zindle leads the band, providing vocals and playing the violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion and percussion. Zindle’s husband Randall Moore provides percussion and her brother T.J. Zindle plays guitar. In addition to Erin, T.J. and Moore, the band has Brian Crist on bass and Loren Kranz on drums.

Since their start as just Moore and Erin in 2005, the lineup has changed and so has their sound, thanks to their time on the road.

The major transition in their music came when T.J. joined in 2008. Erin said his influences brought more electric guitar causing the sound to gain a little edge, shifting toward a rock-and-roll feel.

“The road has been the major catalyst for change. As we have been touring for the last few years, we play between 150-200 shows a year, we have been able to experience how the music relates to many different audiences,” Erin said in the email.

The show at Woodlands Tavern will include songs from their fourth studio album, 2009’s “Finally Almost Ready.”

Audience members can expect a folk rock sound infused with a little bit of rock-and-roll. The songs are “fun, danceable and diverse,” Erin said in an email.

The five band members travel around the country in a Ford E-350 diesel bus that they converted to run on recycled waste vegetable oil in 2008. The bus is named “Cecilia” after the patron saint of music.

In an email, Erin said it has always been important to the band to reduce its impact on the Earth. In the course of a year with 200 tour stops, the band travels more than 100,000 miles.

“We’re able to drastically cut our dependence on gas while at the same time helping our pocket book,” Joe Choma, band manager, said in an email.

The band also avoids using plastic water bottles and made each of their albums with recycled materials.

The Ragbirds raise money to fund their albums and tours through Kickstarter.com, a website that connects artists, musicians and others with potential donors to fund projects. This year, the band has received $14,000 from fans to continue their tours.

The Ragbirds attempt to have their audiences “laugh, smile, dance, and enjoy a high-energy show featuring diverse sounds from around the world,” Choma said in the email.

Woodlands Tavern patrons must be at least 18 years old. The tavern is located at 1200 W. 3rd Ave and tickets for the show, starting at 11 p.m., are $10 at the door.

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