YONDERING - Songs of the American West
Nominated ALBUM OF THE YEAR, 2008, Academy of Western Artists
Winner, WILL ROGERS COWBOY AWARD, Best Song ("Blue Prairie")
Rich Flanders: Lead & Harmony Vocals with
Ken DeAngelis (guitars, accordion, additional vocals)
Rachel Handman (fiddle), Barry Wiesenfeld (bass)
Julie Ziavras (additional vocals)
Arrangements: Ken DeAngelis & Rich Flanders
Engineering, Mixing, Mastering: Ken DeAngelis, JAZ Music Productions, Inc.
Produced by JAZ Music Productions, Inc.
Now, Iâ€™m not a cowboy, and I donâ€™t own that big spread on the far side of the Divide. But growing up in northern California, the West has always been part of me, and no music is closer to my heart.
The rhythms of the Big Bands, in which my dad played, echoed through the house, as did the blend of The Sons of the Pioneers following every Roy Rogers movie we saw. Their harmonies captured a longing in my soul for vast and distant horizons.
After school in San Mateo I could walk over to the Borel Riding Stables, hire a horse and ride in the hills of the Coast Range, and the spell of the West grew with every family trip to the Rockies, the Sierras and the Black Hills. Like many boys of that time, in my heart I lived on that ranch on the big screen with Roy and The Sons of the Pioneers.
Each summer between semesters at college, I set out to hitchhike through the West, seeking adventure, or maybe seeking that mythical ranch. Along the way I picked up work - helping a cowman build his home high up in the White Mountains of Arizona, picking fruit in a northern California valley, helping out at a lonely crossroads store. With enough pocket money, Iâ€™d take off again across the open country of the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, finding back roads, little towns and big ranches. One memorable afternoon I found myself on the Cheyenne Reservation â€“ strictly forbidden - among the descendants of those Cheyenne who had helped the Sioux wipe out Custer in 1876. A wrong turn had deposited me on their land in Montana, not all that far from the Little Big Horn. The Coca Cola delivery man spotted me on the road, and instead of being picked up for trespassing I got to spend a magical few hours with a people I had long felt drawn to but would never otherwise have been privileged to experience.
Along the way I heard some great songs, and while Iâ€™ve performed many kinds of music, from Broadway to doo-wop, the songs I sing to myself are mostly the ones on YONDERING. No matter where the road has taken me, my heart always returns to the windswept prairies and the far peaks, and the call of new frontiers, within and without.
Many of these songs have now become very timely. Creating fresh renditions of them has been a lifelong dream. I hope you love YONDERING as much as we loved making it.
I invite you to pay me a visit at www.richflanders.com.