Folk-rock flock The Ragbirds preach the same green message as many touring bands, but has taken it a step further by converting its touring van to run on recycled vegetable oil.
Accordingly, look out, metro restaurants, because The Ragbirds might come a-knockin while in town for two concerts in Oklahoma City and Norman.
Every couple of days, well go hunting for grease, vocalist Erin Zindle said.
Its a little extra work than just pulling up to a gas station, but we think its worth it.
The van has become an integral piece of The Ragbirds existence, even in their new album, Travelin Machine, released on New Years Day.
Most of the songs were written on the road. Theres a real, live energy in these songs. All the songs carry that feel ing of movement, adventure and exploration, Zindle said. Our van is a character in this band. Her name is Cecilia.
The title and theme also are indicative of the groups distinctive, worldly take on folk rock, borrowing heavily from Celtic, gypsy, Latin, African and Middle Eastern sounds.
I just loved the experience of letting the music transport me where I couldnt go physically in real life, said Zindle, who was initially inspired by Paul Simon and Peter Gabriels world-fusion pop of the 80s. Theres a lot of history, and I felt really connected and opened up by that wider connection to the world.
Finding a way to combine a globes worth of influence into a single record took time to determine, but Travelin Machine the bands fifth studio album since 2005 finds the blend sounding better than ever. With luck, it will be the one that takes Cecilia even farther on the road.
It didnt come together quickly, but I do feel like it comes together naturally. Its just been a lot of years of listening to and absorbing all these different sounds and finding a way to place that into our music, Zindle said. Ive tried to not force or guide even too strongly in one direction. The songs seem to give clues where they want to go along the way, and sometimes, thats a lot of different places.