The Ridges

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The Ridges
The Ridges performing at The Grog Shop in Cleveland in 2011
Background information
Origin Athens, Ohio, United States
Genres Indie, Orchestral, folk rock
Members Victor Rasgaitis
Talor Smith

The Ridges are an orchestral folk rock band from Athens, Ohio. The band is made up of vocalist / guitarist Victor Rasgaitis and cellist / vocalist Talor Smith, who are frequently joined by upwards of nine guest musicians.[1]


A collaboration between Victor Rasgaitis (guitar, vocals) and Talor Smith (cello, vocals), the group formed at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Regularly featuring a rotating cast of guest musicians adding instruments ranging from additional cellos to viola, violin, trumpet, banjo, mandolin, bass, vocals, percussion and accordion to compliment layered, introspective songwriting and passionate, high-energy performances.

The band's name, taken from the allegedly haunted local Victorian landmark that was formerly the Athens Asylum, speaks to the group's fascination with folklore and classical influences as well as their deep rooted connection to the city of Athens.

In the winter of 2010, The Ridges took to the mostly abandoned Athens Lunatic Asylum that bears their same name to record a 5-track, self-titled, "studio" release among the ancient halls, deteriorating wards and eerie operating rooms. The 5-track short-play album coping with themes of haunted pasts, death, love and awakenings, and backgrounded by the unique natural acoustics and legends of the building, was released on May 21, 2011, as the band's first formal presentation.

On October 21, 2011, The Ridges recorded a live session for the popular music discovery website Daytrotter. The five song live session was released on December 29, 2011.[2]

On April 1, 2012, The Ridges recorded a live 20-voices indie choir version of “The Insomniac’s Song” with members of The Happy Maladies, Indigo Wild, Young Heirlooms, and Molly Sullivan. "The Insomniac's Song (Live with The Sleepless Singers)" was released excluively for Record Store Day 2012 (April 21, 2012) through a digital download attached to 50 hand screen printed posters by M. Walton Keys, distributed at 5 select Ohio independent record stores: Haffa's Records (Athens), Shake It Records andEverybody's Records (Cincinnati), Magnolia Thunderpussy (Columbus), and My Mind's eye (Cleveland).

On June 1, 2012, The Ridges recorded a Threadless Warehouse Session at Chicago's iconic Threadless T-Shirts Warehouse.[3]

On June 2, 2012, The Ridges recorded a live session for another popular music discovery website, Audiotree Live. The 8-song live session and interview was released on June 6, 2012.[4]

In the spring of 2013, The Ridges toured the Midwest and South with The Seedy Seeds on their way to the South by Southwest music festival, where they played seven showcases over five days at the festival. The tour and adjoining festival dates were documented with daily photos through a takeover of the popular iPhone photography app Hipstamatic's Twitter feed. [5]

The Ridges have notably performed with Ra Ra Riot, Good Old War, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Ben Sollee, Horse Feathers, Ha Ha Tonka, These United States, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Cayucas, Bad Veins, The Seedy Seeds, Miracles of Modern Science, The Bright Light Social Hour, The Winter Sounds, R. Ring, Those Darlins, Lydia Loveless, Timbre, Robert Francis, Lucius, Revolver, Plume Giant, Kellen & Me, Indigo Wild, and The Happy Maladies. In addition to SXSW, The Ridges have also performed "Critic's Pick" showcases at Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival and the MidPoint Indie Summer Series as well as at The Clifton Heights Music Festival.[6]


Track List
  1. The Insomniac's Song
  2. Overboard
  3. Not a Ghost
  4. Invented Love
  5. War Bonds
Album Credits
Victor Rasgaitis (Vocals / Guitar), Talor Smith (Vocals / Cello), Johnny Barton (Vocals / Percussion / Glockenspiel), Shelby Knapke (Vocals), Nathan Zangmeister (Vocals / Bass / Mandolin), Colin Lambert (Cello), Sarah Edgerton (Viola / Violin), Katie McGonagle (Trumpet), Anna Wagner (Accordion), Erin Raby (Vocals), Jocelyn Young (Vocals), Produced by The Ridges & Matt Vollet, Engineered and Mixed by Matt Vollet, Mastered by Chris Graham, Art by John Burt Sanders, ©℗ 2011 The Ridges (ASCAP)

Other Releases[edit]

Track List
  1. Welcome to Daytrotter
  2. Not a Ghost
  3. Dawn of Night
  4. War Bonds
  5. Overboard
  6. Jackson Pollock
Session Credits
Victor Rasgaitis (Vocals / Guitar), Talor Smith (Vocals / Cello), Johnny Barton (Vocals / Percussion / Glockenspiel), Allie Levin (Vocals / Cello), Sarah Edgerton (Viola / Violin), Lauretta Werner (Violin), Nathan Zangmeister (Vocals / Bass), Chris Damm (Accordion), Recording Engineered by Mike Gentry, Art by Johnnie Cluney, © 2011 Daytrotter
  • 2012 Record Store Day Release: The Insomniac's Song (Live with The Sleepless Singers)
Track List
  1. The Insomniac's Song (Live with The Sleepless Singers)
  2. The Insomniac’s Song (Album Version)
  3. The Insomniac’s Song (Live with The Sleepless Singers) Video
Session Credits
Victor Rasgaitis, Talor Smith, Johnny Barton, Allie Levin, Andrew Poulsen, Benjamin Thomas, Molly Sullivan, Garet Camellla, Michael Norris, Kelly Fine, Chris Robinson, Venomous Valdez, Caitlin Behle, Mike Beall, Ryan Lammi, Blaire Mynear, Jessie Rienerth, Anna Hoop, Whitney Szabo, Debra Maloney, Joe Bailey, Jeanine Boutiere, Produced by The Ridges & Matt Vollet, Engineered and Mixed by Matt Vollet, Mastered by Chris Graham, Art by M. Walton Keys, Printed by Southpaw Prints, Special Thanks to Benjamin Thomas and Rohs Street Cafe, ©℗ 2012 The Ridges (ASCAP)

Press Highlights[edit]

  • "The kind of Americana music that falls off the bone" - Daytrotter [9]
  • "A chilling and intriguing journey into the realm of the unknown" - AltOhio [13]
  • "A well-honed folk-pop machine" - WOUB [14]
  • "Darkly romantic and entrancing… Complex and intriguing" - ACRN [15]
  • "Diverse instrumentation, solid songwriting and great vocal arrangements" - The Athens News [21]
  • "This was not a group of songs, this was an experience" - ACRN [22]

External links[edit]