BELLOWS FALLS -- The Cold River Ranters perform at Popolo on The Square on Thursday, March 7. The show starts at 8 p.m., with doors at 7:30. For those wishing to dine at Popolo first, just show a ticket receipt for 10 percent off food.
How to describe the Cold River Ranters? Their website calls their music "Hot Gonzo Primitive Folk Jive." Flying Under Radar’s Charlie Hunter says it reminds him of "A cross between the Holy Modal Rounders, The Asylum Street Spankers and Jonathan Richman if he lived in Acworth." "One whole heck of a lot of fun" might be the best description of all.
The Cold River Ranters combine an American-rootsy feel with dashes of third world seasonings. The melodies reflect various cultural traditions -- Appalachian, Irish, Celtic Brittany, African, even South Asian -- but the band’s original lyrics are one-of-a-kind. Traditional instrumentation counterbalanced by blood-and-guts vocal stylings fuel a high-energy repertoire of originals and timeless classics.
At the Ranters’ core are Skillet Walker of Lempster, N.H., on steel resonator guitar and vocals; Jonathan Reinhart of Marlow, N.H., on mandolin and vocals; Tom Jawbone of Keene and Acworth, N.H., on banjo, flute, bagpipes, penny whistle, bones, jug, jaw harp and vocals; Nattie Carroll of Keene and Acworth on accordion and washboard. Marek Bennet makes deep thumping basslines using a 35-gallon steel drum with a banjo head and strings coming out of it.
Advance tickets are $10, available at Village Square Books and Popolo in Bellows Falls, or at brattleborotix.com. Best-in-house "Angel" tickets are available for $20 from Village Square Books and brattleborotix.com. For information, call 802-463-9595. This show is presented by Flying Under Radar, LLC in association with Vermont Festivals, LLC and Kicking and Screaming. Proceeds from this show will benefit The Bellows Falls Farmers Market.