Rich Flanders and "Yondering"
Testimonials & Reviews
|Jean Houston, founder Mystery School & The School For Social Artistry
"These songs are beautiful, rich, poignant and melodic and given a depth of feeling and sweetness with the tenor and exquisite phrasing of Flanders' voice. They bring back memories and recall days of fortitude and innocence. They give us back the America of our dreams and hold us to a higher ideal." www.jeanhouston.org
|Yolanda Lindwall, international seminar leader, Freedom Through Releasing:
"My career has allowed me to experience life in 40 countries while teaching principles for neutralizing disturbing emotions. After listening to "Yondering" I wholeheartedly recommend it for soothing the soul, as it reminds us of a lifestyle that honors and respects the natural beauty of our planet. "Yondering" is a routine pleasure for me as I face modern day traffic. Thank you for creating such a therapeutic blessing! I never tire of hearing it. Music from home...the heart. "www.lindwallreleasing.org
|O.J. Sikes, host of Western Music Time radio show:"It's terrific!"
|Peggy Rubin, Founder, The Center For Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon:
"Rich's beautiful voice sounds his soul, and makes me homesick, not just for an American West that was a dream, but for the wonders of the natural world, and the heart that still sustains it. The title, Yondering, is perfect, too."www.sacredtheatre.org
|Barry Plaxen, Managing Editor, Delaware & Hudson Canvas, NY: "Absolutely glorious. What a lovely CD. So wonderfully soothing. A great pleasure to listen to. It took me out of myself and away to relaxationland. I loved the arrangements - harmonies - everything . CONGRATULATIONS!"
|Troubadours of Divine Bliss, Indiana:
"We want to thank you for creating your CD "Yondering!"...IT IS MAGNIFICENT!!!! It's beautifully produced and your voice is an American classic! Lush, lively and lovely...We wish you great success with the CD. Every home should have a copy. Thank you for keeping American music alive and very well! An amazing tribute... Happy trails, your troubadours, Aim Me Smiley & Renee Ananda"
|Elizabeth Drake McDonald, Canada, co-author Lyrics: The Song Poems of Bob Nolan:
"As a researcher and archivist working with Bob Nolan's grandson, I grew to love the inimitable sound of the Sons of the Pioneers. Clearly influenced but not copying their style, Rich has captured the spirit and vitality of their music. When his CD is playing, I can't help but join in! Bob Nolan's "Chant of the Plains" vies with Rich's own "Midnight Skies" as my favorite on this album. I hope there are more albums like this one in the making. It's a winner. "
|Mark York, composer & musical director, New York City: "What I think impressed me most is.....how Rich claims the entire genré of western music as his own. I don't feel like I'm listening to a museum piece....I'm hearing western music for the very first time. I found this recording to be very FRESH and NEW. BRAVO!!! It's a great CD."
||Rick Huff, The Western Way Magazine - "None do it any better than this cowboy from New York! ....This one gets a nod from me for WMA or AWA nominations for Western Male Vocalist and Traditional Western album. Truly special."
|Bernard Boyat, Le Cri du Coyote magazine: "Simply beautiful work...The Old West still survives, thanks to fellows like this."
|Dawn Kirk, therapist & host of Wake Up & Live! radio show, radiofreenashville.org:
"Yondering" and Rich's pure voice reconnected me to my roots, reminding me of my grandparents' place "on the creek" in the country as well as the beauty of nature."
|Ed & Jill Lamoureux, Master Coordinators, Shaklee Corp., New Hampshire: " The first time we played your new CD, Yondering, we were immediatly taken by the simple beauty and calming effect that it had on us. It syncopates both sides of the brain and it begs to be played over and over again, bringing a sense of peace and relaxation in a very unsettled world. It brought us back to our youth. Your voice is an angelic voice. People need to hear this - This is what the world needs. Thanks for the brilliant work."
|Angel Gail Konz, teacher, intuitive, author - Michigan. "Yondering" is what my husband and I always reach for after a busy day on our farm. Somehow it touches a place very deep and makes more sense to all of our reality. We absolutely love this music! "
|Musical Medicine Newsletter: Inner Harmony Health Center- "Celebrating earth, sky, and the great lone places, the music of Yondering reaches deep into the heart, bringing a sense of peace in an unsettling world."
| Maria Dallin, Wurtsboro, NY:
"I want to say "thanks" for such heart-rendering songs that have great meanings in the simple things of our Earth! Rich, your voice has the passion and feeling of a lone cowboy out in the desert prairies! I can't put my finger on which one song is my favorite -- I love "Man Walks Among Us" -- "Cool Water" makes me thirsty for more! "Song of the Trail" makes me want to sing along! 4 stars for "Trees." "Timber Trail" makes me want to yodel! "Ghost Riders" is also one of my favorites! In fact, I have to get my CD back from Fred as he enjoys listening to it on his way to work! I WANT TO BUY ANOTHER ONE so I can listen at home when he has mine in his car! I pray you have much success with this CD ."
|Elisa Hendrey, Sound Beach, NY:
"I grew up in the West and remember with great fondness listening with Rich Flanders to The Sons of the Pioneers when we were just teenagers... I am thrilled by your CD. Every number is done so exquisitely. "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" is gorgeous, I loved the eerieness of "Ghost Riders," "Midnight Skies" is haunting... I found the whole album inspirational and beautiful, and I thank you for making it. What a joy it is to hear these songs sung so warmly from the heart, for the hearts of all of us who love our beautiful land so deeply."
"Yondering" is more than a collection of songs of the West. It is a rich reminder that the past can live on in the present. You've created something beautiful, my friend."
|Jim Woolsey, Sierra Vista, Arizona:
" I've been listening to Yondering. I think it's great. This cd is about as close to the Sons of the Pioneers as you can get this side of the Pearly Gates."
|Elaine Cirillo, White Plains, NY
"I have been listening to your album, with much enjoyment. You have such a beautiful quality to your voice that I believe can transcend many ills in this world. I loved the song you wrote and hope that there will be many more. I did enjoy the familiar songs I recognized and some that delightfully surprised me, which I've never heard. You have an incredible depth of compassion and heartfullness that can be bridged through your music."
|Kristin Rotblatt - Acupuncturist, Nutritional Consultant, Author, Los Angeles:
"You have the most gorgeous voice! I LOVE YOUR CD SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! Your voice is absolutely exquisite...and your music, your voice, and the arrangements make me so happy! Every song, your beautiful voice, etc. is so soothing to me. I am listening to the whole CD for the second time! If I could I would make you the next cowboy singing star, I would! Thanks for uplifting my day. I am so excited that I own a copy!"
||James Shaw, Hot Springs, Arkansas:
"I grew up listening to Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Sons of the Pioneers, Marty Robbins, etc. and this homage to Western music is excellent. It brings back memories of my childhood...like comfort food for the ears. Rich's voice is amazing and he captures the true essence of these songs. The production is flawless and the musicians perfect. I highly recommend this CD for any fan of Western music or just really good music for that matter."
An announcement from the Bob Nolan website:
"Cool Water" and "TumblingTumbleweeds" have been recorded by countless entertainers and so, by popular demand, we have created a page for each song so you can listen to the differences in arrangements. We hope you enjoy them. Go to www.bobnolan-sop.net and then click on 'Recordings'
in the sidebar. Or click on the following shortcut link: http://bobnolansop.net/Recorded/Recordings.htm "
(The versions of these classic songs from Yondering are among the selections there. Enjoy. Rich)
Thanks to everyone for the privilege of sharing this music of the heart, "music from home." It is my belief that real change in the world will come only from a change of heart.____Rich
Click the red arrows below to read full reviews
Yondering— Songs of the American West
Interesting name, and it fits. Interesting talent, and he fits too.
Rich Flanders does what the great Robert Wagoner has done for many years…namely, he multi-tracks his own harmonies. Flanders does it very nicely, too. He doesn’t just render these classic Bob Nolan, Stan Jones, Marty Robbins, Eliot Daniel/Johnny Lange or Lionel Newman/Ken Darby songs. He interprets them, he acts them. And he makes you really feel them as dramatic works. This becomes apparent and very welcome on a song that’s been hammered as often as “(Ghost) Riders In The Sky
.” He seems to mean it when he describes it. Also outstanding are Flanders’ treatments of “Trees
” and “Sierra Nevada
,” but all 16 tracks are superb.
Musically, the overall effect is a mellow Sons of the Pioneers-style trip down memory lane. None do it any better than this cowboy from New York! Vocally, you hear a bit of “Ukelele Ike” Edwards at times, some Rusty Richards at others, but he’s not a copy of either or anyone else. Within a very traditional framing you still hear intelligent invention. It makes this CD a living argument for classic Golden Era Western being viable, alive and well.For what it’s worth, this one gets a nod from me for WMA or AWA nominations for Western Male Vocalist and Traditional Western album.
CDs: $16 ppd online from www.cdbaby/cd/richflanders
or contact Rich Flanders, 374 County Highway 48, Thompson Ridge, NY 10985 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to original article.
A new CD entitled Yondering.
Rich Flanders has been in Broadway musicals (notably Shenandoah) and sings often for John Hiller and Sarah Rice's Broadway Concerts Direct performances in Wurtsboro and Loch Sheldrake.
Flanders' lyrical pipes are generally used for singing the great standard songs of the 30s, 40s and 50s: Tin Pan Alley and Broadway. This time around, for his Yondering CD, he offers up "Cowboy Poetry."
" My Yondering CD is Songs of the American West" explains Flanders. "I do lead and harmony vocals throughout (16 songs, including one original) with Ken joining me on five of them, and Julie joining us on two. In addition to his engineering talents, Ken also does bangup accordion and guitar, tracks; Barry Wiesenfeld is on bass fiddle, and Rachel Handman is a wonderful fiddler/violinist on half a dozen of the numbers." (Handman recently wowed the audience at Schempfs Bach Festival at which she played unaccompanied Bach for violin solo).
Flanders continued, 'the project was in my mind for years and a labor of love. We've been creating it since February, and it all came together as beautifully as I could have hoped. Many of these songs haven't been heard in many years, but are real gems and should find an audience. It also strikes me how timely some of them now are, with the planet in crisis."
"Ken co-created the arrangements. He understood what I was trying to translate. And he had wonderful original ideas of his own. It took us from February to July, about six months, two nights a week, picking the timing, tempos, laying down (record and re-record) vocal tracks, adding the instruments, layering steps that end with the final product, listening to each other -- accepting and rejecting-- the sounds were in my head and we worked them out instrumentally, like translating. Ken and I collaborated equally."
What is "Cowboy Poetry"?
"Just good lyrics," says Flanders. "For instance, there's Bob Nolan and his songs Cool Water and Tumbling Tumbleweeds. The term started in the 70s or 80s, probably because Americans love to categorize everything. So using the phrase seems to make Western Music more acceptable. We needed permission to record some of the songs. Bob Nolan's grandson has a website and keeps the songs going. He gave us a page on the site. And word of mouth has resulted in the CD already having played on Radio Free Nashville and Western Music Time, an intemet radio show.
"Nolan's site is www.bobnolan-sop.net. The 'sop' stands for Sons of the Pioneers and the "Reflections" page of that site has Flanders information."I have known these songs since I was a kid listening to the Sons of Pioneers and watching westerns. They capture the flavor of the wilderness authentically and with great beauty."
Cowboy Poetry is not a "new" term, as explained by CANVAS writer and poet, Robert Milby. "Well, from what little I do know, Robert Service, a poet from the late 1800s in America could be construed as a "cowboy poet." There is a poet/storyteller who was discovered by the American folk singer, Ani DiFranco, a few years ago, who was an elderly man who supposedly had gone on tour with her and related the genre. He wrote poems about the frontier, folk tales, stories of hobo life, common folk, romance, etc. There is some kind of movement out west, maybe connected with rodeos and carnivals. I heard about it here and there on NPR."
In conclusion, Flanders stated, "I wanted to give back something that I felt I had "discovered" that would appeal to People with the beauty of the songs which are timely because the wilderness still does exist somewhat with its natural beauty. These songs speak to the heart.
"You can hear selections on www.richflanders.com.'I'here is a link to ordcr the "soothing" CD and there is historical background on the songs.
Artists Collaborate on CD's
Derek Leet. Delaware & Hudson CANVAS, October, 2007
Rich Flanders of Thompson Ridge, NY, who
appeared in the long-running Broadway hit, Shenandoah
and is a frequent cast member of the monthly Broadway
Concerts Direct series in Wurtsboro, has just completed a
CD of classic cowboy songs entitled Yondering
at JAZ Music Productions in Middletown, the alburn
includes Cool Water
, Ghost Riders in the Sky
Down the Canyon
, Blue Shadows on the Trail
, and ten other favorite songs of the West, as
well as an original composition, Midnight Skies
Five of the numbers were penned'by the late Bob
Nolan, regarded as the greatest of the "cowboy poets" and
a founding member of the legendary singing cowboy
group, The Sons of the Pioneers. Nolan's archivist,
Elizabeth Drake McDonald, author of Lyrics: The Song
Poems of Bob Nolan
, has said of the album, *'I loved
every minute of it. I was determined to just listen to it
critically but then I'd find myself singing along so I
couldn't be objective at all. He's kept the spirit of the Sons
of the Pioneers, that's for sure. It's an excellent CD."
Barry Plaxen of the Delaware & Hudson Valley
Canvas describes the album as "absolutely gorgeous."
The CD is available through www.richflanders.com
or through www.cdbaby.com/Artist/RichFlanders
Warwick Valley Dispatch
, October 17, 2007
UNDER THE WESTERN SKIES
RICH FLANDERS: YONDERING
Il n’est pas necessaire de vivre dans l’Ouest pour le chanter de fort belle facon et Rich le prouve sur ses reprises de classiques du western. Rien de tres suprenant, simplement du beau travail, en particulier sur les ballades qui conviennent bien a son vocal, comme Blue Shadows On The Trail, Sierra Nevada, Cool Water, All Wild Things ou Man Walks Among Us. Le vieil Ouest survit encore grace a des gens comme lui. (BB)
Bernard Boyat: Le Cri Du Coyote. Revue de Musique Americaines, Issue # 103
|For our readers of a "certain age," hip-hop is just something that happens to their hip after the replacement surgery.
But ask that same person about The Sons of the Pioneers, they think Roy Rogers or Frankie Laine, and all of the great cowboy singers that have long since passed.
But Rich Flanders, a Pine Bush resident who once appeared in the Broadway hit "Shenadoah," wants to bring back the classic cowboy songs such as "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" on his new CD - "Yondering - Songs of the American West."
"These songs have been part of my life for a long time," said Flanders, who grew up in Northern California before going to Broadway and then settling in the northern Orange County town of Pine Bush. "'They are songs about being close to nature and, I hope, will abow people to reconnect to the wilderness."
All of the songs were chosen by Flanders with an eye towards classics that "have universal appeal ."
|And while he has received a good response from older listeners, he has also received acclaim from a much younger audience. Flanders said a seventh grade teacher in San Diego played the album for her students and they have all written him telling him how much they enjoyed the music.
Flanders attributes the youngsters' interest in the songs, to the growing love for the environment that students are learning at home and at school. "These songs deal with nature themes and carry a powerful message and are timely," Flanders said "This CD was really a labor of love."
To learn more about Flanders and his music, go
to his Web site www.richflanders.com.
A Singing Cowboy Returns. Orange County Resident Releases CD of Classic Tunes. Robert Ford. The Ulster County Press. Wednesday, October 17, 20
Yondering - Songs of the American West -
Celebrating earth, sky, and the great lone places, the music of Yondering reaches deep into the heart, bringing a sense of peace in an unsettling world
. In the tradition of the great cowboy singers - The Sons of the Pioneers, Rex Allen and Roy Rogers - these are fresh, authentic, lushly textured renderings of the most beautiful songs of the wide open spaces. Great for commutes, after a long day, doing housework!
For more on the album, and how to order, visit: http://www.richflanders.com/
Musical Medicine Newsletter
: Inner Harmony Health Center- www.InnerHarmonyHealthCenter.com