Zindle's voice alone would make the Ragbirds a band worth checking out. But lots more is going on. For starters, she's a pretty hot songwriter as well, although the insistent spirituality of her lyrics can get a bit annoying. "Adoration" is a long, Hindu-sounding Jewish spiritual chant that brings to mind some India-fueled hippie trip that doesn't stand up to repeated listening. A couple of her experiments don't quite hit on all cylinders, but when they work, look out. On "Holy Kiss," a song about God or a lost love (I'm not sure which) with just Zindle's voice and a grand piano, or on "Believe It," a song about faith and hope with a hypnotic beat and a wonderful accordion and snappy chorus, the Ragbirds just lure you into a distinctive and appealing musical world.
The live Ragbirds with Randall Moore and Tim Dzieken on percussion, Adam Labeaux on guitar and vocals, Jeff Stinson on bass and vocals, and vocalist Zindle on an assortment of instruments, including violin and banjo are a bit more of a jam band, open to soloing and stretching out beyond pop song structures off the CD. Their live shows work both as a showcase for the songs and as a soundtrack to inspire the dancers in the audience.
The Ragbirds headline the St. Patrick's Day show at TC's Speakeasy on Friday, March 17.
[Review published March 2006]