The Burning River Ramblers (C. Brennan Photography)
The Burning River Ramblers (C. Brennan Photography)

Cleveland Funk-Rockers Return to Alma Mater for Album Release Party

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This Thursday will be a homecoming of sorts for The Burning River Ramblers, a Cleveland-based rock/funk group with Ohio University roots.

The band will host a release party for its sophomore album, To Color a Fool, at The Union with two local up-and-coming groups, The Whole Hearted Half Wits and Fathers of the Revolution.

When WOUB last spoke with the group’s keyboardist, David Young, The Burning River Ramblers had just made it to the national round of the Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands contest. With the album release party on the horizon, we checked back with Young for an update on the band’s activities.

David Young: A lot has happened in the last six months! We ended up finishing 38th in the world in the Hard Rock Rising contest, but unfortunately only the top 25 made it on to final judging. It was still a great experience that really propelled us into the summer.

WOUB: And it looks like you’ve had quite a busy summer, judging from your Facebook page. What are some of the highlights?

DY: In June, the band moved its home base to Cleveland once the last of the members graduated OU. We spent the summer gigging in all parts of Cleveland, as well as Columbus, Athens, and Erie, Pa., rarely having a weekend night un-booked. Gigs ranged from playing summer festivals and headlining venue performances to playing at the opening of the Cleveland Convention Center and playing live on Cleveland TV and radio morning shows. We also got a lot of publicity and coverage on our new material. We’re now getting 20-plus plays per week on 87.7 FM, a Cleveland alternative station, and are also on rotation with several college radio stations.

WOUB: Let’s talk about the new album–where was it recorded, who did you work with and what plans do you have for distribution?

DY: Work on the new record started all the way back in June 2012, when we did basic tracking for all of the songs during a three-day stay at historic Suma Recording Studios in Painesville, Ohio. We spent the next seven months doing final overdubs for the album, mostly at my project studio in Athens, Rex Kalibur Studios. I mixed it with my father, David J. Young, who was the producer on the album, throughout June and in July. I was the co-producer. It was mastered by an A-list pro in Nashville, Jim DeMain at Yes Master studios.

We ordered a run of physical CDs, which will be at the release party, and the full album will soon be available on iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify and pretty much every other online music retailer. It’s available now, both physically and digitally, at

WOUB: You had a CD release party last month in Cleveland–what prompted you to have an additional album launch in Athens?

DY: Athens really made the band. We still have a strong following here, so we thought it would be appropriate to have an Athens-specific release show as well.

WOUB: Could you give us some details on this Thursday’s show?

DY: The doors will open at 8 p.m. with music starting at 9 p.m. Two Athens bands will be opening up: The Whole Hearted Half Wits, a band of recent Athens High School grads that really play beyond their years and have a strong, young following; and Fathers of the Revolution, a band of OU students that has been together for a few years and has a great original sound. We’ll take the stage some time around 11 p.m. We’re hoping the combination of the three bands can bring a diverse crowd with a large age range.

For more information on The Burning River Ramblers, visit the band’s website, Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.