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WhiteWater Ramble

WhiteWater Ramble's booty-shaking music isn't bluegrass in a strict sense. The band's versatile jams are steeped in funk, jazz, swing, rock, reggae, country and blues. As the band has created its own tightly improvised arrangements, its music style has created itself.

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., WhiteWater Ramble features core members Patrick Sites on acoustic and electric mandolin, Brian Coddington on acoustic guitar, Howard Montgomery on upright bass and drummer A.C. Lao. Lao recently replaced Alex Jacobson on drums and percussion. The band also touts a fiddle player during its shows.

"We're always rotating fiddle players," says Sites. "It just depends on their schedules. Our regular guy, Adam Galblum, is busy touring with Hot Buttered Rum and David Grisman's group and can't make it to the Ashland gig." Filling in will be Bobby Krech.

WhiteWater Ramble will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at The Mobius, 281 Fourth St., Ashland.

The group's members cite a list of diverse musical influences that include Johnny Cash, Django Reinhardt, Robert Johnson, Bob Marley and Miles Davis — anyone up for "Voodoo Child" strummed on an electric mandolin with a bar towel? Songs by Ramble can be heard at www.myspace.com/whitewaterramble.

Since the group formed in 2004, it has made a name for itself while opening shows for such notables as the David Grisman Quintet, Dark Star Orchestra, Tiny Universe, Railroad Earth, Great American Taxi and many others. The group has performed at many of the music festivals in the Rocky Mountain regions and in some of the larger concert halls, including the Fox Theatre in Boulder and the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins.

"We went from performing about 75 shows in 2006 to around 135 in 2007," Sites says. "Last year we played the Wakarusa Festival in Kansas and rubbed elbows with some of the big boys.

"We were on the stage with Carl Densen and Tiny Universe, Michael Franti and Spearhead, the Yonder Mountain String Band, and Galactic was another big name that was there."

Ramble has performed live on radio KGNU in Boulder and KRFC in Fort Collins, and the band landed a live TV gig on the CBS affiliate station in Denver.

The group has a live CD, taped in 2006, along with a DVD of its 2007 concert at the Aggie Theatre to its credit.

The live CD was taped at a Tiny Universe concert using the latter band's professional recording equipment.

Sites says the band has more concerts than ever booked for the coming year.

"We'll be venturing west," he says. "We want to branch out and reach more markets."

Tickets to the show at The Mobius cost $8 in advance; $12 the day of the show. Call 488-8894.

WhiteWater Ramble’s recent promo photo includes (left to right) fiddler Joe Turman, acoustic guitarist Brian Coddington, Patrick Sites on acoustic and electric mandolin, Howard Montgomery on upright bass and Alex Jacobson on drums. Turman has been replaced by Adam Galblum and Jacobson was replaced by A.C. Lao. - Photo by Mark Backus