Ragman was founded by Dave Urbanski, the guitarist, and Eric Hutts, vocalist. Dave took care of the music; Eric, the lyrics.
Loosely based between Wilmington, DE and suburban Philadelphia, Ragman held practices starting in the fall of 1991 when able with a young white R&B singer named Kam Houff who went to school with Eric, but also played funky drums.
They figured out what they wanted to sound like in the summer of 1992, taking inspiration from the grooves and harmonies of King's X, the power of Soundgarden, and moodiness of My Bloody Valentine. All the latter influences came to bear when pounding out the music for their 3-song demo.
The band cut the demo in the late summer in a barn in the Pennsylvania farm country, and whatever they had going for them that weekend was hitting on all cylinders. Lots of magic. Great blends for the primitive equipment they were working with.
Then they got great reviews in the Philadelphia City Paper of all places, which shocked some of the band members. Another great review in Cornerstone magazine. etc. etc. They kept writing, working things out.
Soon it became too complicated to play shows because Kam wasn't very available & the band didn't have a permanent bass player. They did land a spot in the Cornerstone 1993 new band showcase, but the gig didn't go so well. They also opened for Circle of Dust at Drexel University in August 1993, which was a much better gig, but no recording was made.
After this Eric and Dave put things to rest that fall as Dave pursued other things. They hooked up again in late 1996 for a full-length CD called Niagara Falsetto - which took about 2 years to complete mostly because Eric and Dave were criss-crossing the country and finding time to get together to practice & record became harder and harder. Likewise it was a bear scrounging up the cash for the recording sessions. The final product was good, satisfying, but Dave says he will always probably love that 3-song demo more for its DIY passion and all-things-falling-together magic, which he says he has never experienced musically before or since.
Eric Hutts - Lead vocals, lyrics
Dave Urbanski - Guitars, backing vox, music
Chris Staunton - Bass, dulcimer, shaker
Kam Houff - Drums
Eric Hutts - Lead vocals, percussion
Dave Urbanski - Guitars, harmony vocals, percussion
Chris Staunton - Bass, dulcimer, hummel, synth strings, moog
Kam Hoff - Drums