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"Los Angeles Buzz bands"

http://buzzbands.la/2009/01/30/the-derby-hearing-its-swan-songs-this-weekend/comment-page-1/ - Kevin Bronson buzz bands

"Ragsy-Broken Bridge and Storytime"

Ragsy - Broken Bridge, and storytime.
February 2, 2009
It’s story time.

Flash back to me at 11, stumbling onto a website for a band called Soulcracker. Clicked it because I liked their name.

Turned out their music was pretty stellar — nothing like what my bad taste had come across at that point — a tasty smoothie of alternative, ska, punk, arena rock — just add ice and you’ve got it all. They were going on VH1’s Bands on the Run, a contest show resulting in a recording contract. My love affair began there.

For ages, they were my favorite band. First band I saw live; in a crappy bar in a crappy town, at 12, with my brother and nephew. When I walked in the door, in a lime-green t-shirt with a dragon on it, I yelled ‘I CAME TO SEE SOULCRACKER’ at the lead vocalist / guitarist, Sutton. The barfolk looked at me funny; they had every right to. Sutton gave me a thumbs-up. He probably didn’t think I had any clue who he was.

After one bad opening act, one really good opening act, and a raunchy comedian who apologized for the profanity in front of children (my nephew and I), the band took the stage. Absolutely kicked ass. They name-checked me on-stage (my online alias at the time, actually. Got a big laugh from the crowd), and I got to talk to a couple of the band members after they finished their set. Great stuff. I still have their CD that they signed for me, and I still listen to it. It’s damn good, in fact.

A week after I saw them live, they broke up. September 14th, I saw them live, I think they broke up on the 21st. This was, mind, back in 2001.

Zoom, six years later, it’s early 2007, and this band Ragsy sends a friend request on the Myspace. I download a couple tracks without looking at the band members, and I go, That backup vocal sounds really familiar. Turns out, it’s Sutton, from Soulcracker.

As it comes to music, I don’t buy a lot of new release things. I don’t buy a lot in general. I’d rather download and buy a shirt, if I like the band enough, since the bands don’t make money from CDs anyway. But, when I heard Ragsy released an album through iTunes, I had to have it.

In spite of my love for the predecessing band, I was shaky about buying the Ragsy album, Broken Bridge. Their sound is a bit of a departure from Soulcracker, skewing to a more indie vibe. That, and their lady vocalist, the lovely Kelly Barnes, is a damn sight more sultry than the Soulcracker boys.

Altogether, though — I don’t regret the purchase at all — and I encourage all of you to get it, because it is fucking terrific.

Every track, top to bottom, is worth listening to, multiple times. This is music at its best.

The band has that sort of thing going on to where you can tell they’re loving every minute of what they’re doing while they perform, even in the studio. This adds a ton to the already heartfelt and impacting lyrics. Kelly’s voice — unlike a lot of female vocalists — doesn’t wear on you after a bit, or even instantly — she’s got a smooth sort of sound that rolls nice and easy on the ears.

If you doubt me, it’s understandable. Nostalgia was involved in me buying the album. But nostalgia has nothing to do with how much I’ve listened to it. The two bands spoken of above are worlds apart, and I’d maybe even give a mass-appeal quality edge to Ragsy, in this case, despite being pretty indie-rooted.

Bottom-line: you should buy Broken Bridge. If nothing else, you should go to their Myspace and listen to a couple songs, and see what you think. I would not be surprised if you fall in love.

If I had a scoring system here, I’d give the album 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

–adam! (the daily) witt.

Posted by adamwitt
Filed in Uncategorized - The Daily Witt

"Ragsy - Broken Bridge LA CD of the Month"

In an age where musicianship can be artificially created and perfected by a computer, it's easy to forget about the subtle charms and ambiances that great musicians can create and make you feel; you know, the essential heart of what makes you connect with a piece of music. In their new album, "Broken Bridge," Ragsy does just that. The album is a tumultuous venture into the passionate lives of the once upon a time married Kelly Barnes and Sutton Althisar, with the added help of Justin White on bass and Smitty's drums to fill in the cracks of Ragsy's musical story telling. Barne's raspy vocals guide the listener through her trials and tribulations of misguided love ventures as she starts off in "You and Them" with, "I've had too much to drink. Too much to walk. Should have taken the car to the bar but I need these streets so I can straighten out." accompanied with a wrenching back beat that pulses like the beat of the broken hearted. The album continues on to other great highlights like "Say" and "The Better Part" which exemplify the subtle dynamics that make Ragsy so interesting to experience. The album plays like a familiar road that any passionate lover has found themselves walking through, with a seasoned musical prowess that is hard to find an equivalent to. -Julianne Vazquez - The Deli Magazine


Broken Bridge 12"LP December 2008




En route to matrimonial bliss in Mexico one hot September day in 2002, Kelly Barnes and Sutton Althisar formed a band. Sadly, the nuptial did not survive its trials and the once inseparable pair made the difficult decision to end the marriage. However, what was conceived between these overwhelmingly
talented, passionate lovers is R A G S Y. Their story is good. Their music is refreshingly heartbreaking.
Their live performance is undeniable and fiercely captivating. In December of 2008 Ragsy independently released their debut album, the 12"LP "Broken Bridge."