Rag Radio: Austin Country Folk Honky-Tonk! The Melancholy Ramblers Live!

The members of this popular band are also major players in Austin progressive politics and the arts.


The Melancholy Ramblers, who join us in performance and conversation, are a popular Austin band that plays an eclectic mix of country, folk, gospel, and honky-tonk – with a progressive political bent.

They play regularly at the venerable Austin music venue, the Broken Spoke, at the New World Deli, and at benefits for progressive causes — like The Rag Blog! Joining us are Brady Coleman on vocals and guitar, Marco Perella on vocals and hummel, and Frances Barton on vocals and accordion. On the show, they perform rousing renditions of Woody Guthrie’s “Going Down that Road Feeling Bad” and “This Land is Your Land”; Marco Perella’s original song about the Russian revolution, “Anarchists’ Ball”; “Nine Pound Hammer” (“a coal-mining song for the blue collar workers out there”); and traditional songs, “Trouble You Can’t Fool Me,” “Lonesome Valley,” and “I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water.” Great stuff!

All the members of The Melancholy Ramblers are also known as major players in Austin politics and the arts. Brady Coleman, who was a radical lawyer in Austin from the ’60s through the ’80s, is also an actor with an extensive resume, including his recent part as attorney Scrappy Holmes in Richard Linklater’s acclaimed Bernie. Marco Perella, also an actor, played Prof. Bill Welbrook in Linklater’s Oscar-nominated Boyhood. And Frances Barton, whose Czech background shines in her accordion wizardry, is a longtime Austin activist going back to her work in the ’60s with the United Farm Workers. (Bass player Blackie White, aka Guy Juke, who couldn’t be with us, is a legendary Austin graphic artist whose poster art dates back to the Armadillo World Headquarters.)

This show was originally broadcast during KOOP Radio’s Spring Membership Drive, and money pitches have been removed from the shorter version of the podcast.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]


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