Ravyns Still Reaching for the Stars!

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One of the great marvels of sport is to watch a team gel, achieve unprecedented heights and reap the rewards of hours upon hours in the weight room, in the classroom, on the practice field and in the quiet of their homes studying film.

There’s a surreal feeling, even for fans of such teams, when that team – their team, reaches the pinnacle of a sport as the champagne sprays and confetti tumbles from the sky.

As fans of the Ravens we experienced that a little over a month ago. Some are still glowing in The Land of Surrealism. There’s an extra bounce in their step; a little more style in their swagger.

Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas when playing at the Lyric Theatre 2 weeks ago congratulated the city of Baltimore and went so far to say that, “One of the best things about winning the Super Bowl is that you get to be a d*** to other fans around the NFL for a whole year.”

To each their own.

Different strokes…

Great rock bands are similar to football teams. Sure you have your lead singers and lead guitarists who get most of the notoriety and attention on stage much like a quarterback and players who touch the ball on the gridiron. Yet you know that the warmth of that spotlight is only as good as the pieces that comprise the team.

A quarterback is only as good as the offensive front that protects him.

The Baltimore Ravens are a perfect example.

A lead guitarist is only as good as his band’s rhythm section that keeps listeners engaged and their toes tapping.

The town’s other black-winged birds, the Baltimore Ravyns are a perfect example of that!

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying an outstanding performance by this local legendary band that absolutely rocked the house at Looney’s North in Bel Air.

During my college days I often watched the Ravyns play at The Dulaney Inn in Towson. And last night Messrs. Rob Fahey, Kyf Brewer, David Bell, Lee Townsend and Tim Steele took me back 30 years and helped me and the hundreds in attendance to relive those happy moments in time – a time when in many ways we were Raised on the Radio.

I marveled at how tight the band seemed, effortlessly taking songs in new directions, adjusting on the fly, just like the best football teams. And in the case of the Ravyns, they haven’t had the luxury of working together extensively in recent years.

You see for bands that don’t make it big, life gets in the way. That coupled with the ever- changing landscape of today’s music scene that rewards glitz and superficiality more so than talent. It robs a band like the Ravyns of their deserved notoriety.

And then it robs us because we don’t see or hear them nearly enough.

Music and football have that in common too.

Players who are outstanding in the realm of most peer groups can fade away because despite their talents, they may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time; the ball didn’t quite roll the right way one day when a more fortuitous bounce may have changed their careers. Maybe they fell an inch short.

As Al Pacino once said in the movie Any Given Sunday, life is a game of inches.

And on this given Sunday, I studied the band – their focus on their collective and individual craftsmanship and I wondered what may have become of this talented group of musicians had the ball bounced their way – had they been seen by the right producer at the right time.

Let’s not forget that there was a rather famous band from Liverpool that was once kicked to the curb but given a second chance by Brian Epstein and George Martin.

Life can be unfair that way but that didn’t seem to bother this proud Baltimore based quintet. For over 2 hours they treated us to a performance that I’ll never forget, taking us on a ride down memory lane…to younger days, days when we all yearned for something better.

Last night the Ravyns proved that no matter how many years have gone by you can STILL be “reaching for the stars.”

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

4 Raves on “Ravyns Still Reaching for the Stars!

  1. Thom Wysham on said:

    I remember these guys from the mid-seventies when they were known as “Climb A Donkey” and played at a joint in Reisterstown called Tony’s Dream. Glad to know they’re still in existance.

  2. David H on said:

    Nice read. It was a great show! Over the past few years, the Ravyns have started playing with a passion that wasn’t there for some time. They did many cookie cutter shows where they played the same setlist every night and they were just going through the motions. One member that will remain nameless once told me, “You know it’s bad when the women were getting up to dance before their favorites were played because they already knew what was coming.” When they did their four show mini-tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” last year, they decided to do something different. They decided to play some songs that haven’t been played since the early ’80s. After the shows the guys in the band were so psyched that they started throwing around the idea of recording an album of these songs that were never given studio treatment.

    I am currently archiving any video and audio I that I can find and am planning to use some of it in a documentary I am working on about the band. The rest will go up on YouTube and SoundCloud. Some Ravyn Maniacs have sent me some good stuff and some of the band members are also opening their archives to me. I never dreamed in a million years that I would be doing something like this, but the band are so important to me that I took it upon myself to tell their story.

    By the way Thom, Climbadonkey are actually playing live again! They have a show at Club 66 in Edgewood on March 23 to celebrate the release of their first album, which consists of tracks recorded between 1976-1978.

  3. NC Raven on said:

    Glad to see them still around and doing what they love to do. When I was a kid they used to play softball at Fullerton field in the afternoon one day a week, and somehow I stumbled into playing along each week. One time they saw I had huge holes in my shoes to where my big toe stuck out the side, and the next week somebody (wish I could remember who but it’s probably almost 30 years ago) brought me a new pair. Classy people all the way around and I wish them all the best.

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