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A purebred Appalachian and veteran of advanced studies at the innovative New England Conservatory Department of Contemporary Improvisation, songwriter, guitarist and producer Gar Ragland’s original music represents a bridge between the simple storytelling of traditional folk music and the melodic and harmonic inventions of modern jazz.

Following a successful stint as a working musician in the budding Charlottesville, Virginia music scene in the early 1990’s—sharing bills with acts like Dave Matthews Band, Gov't Mule and the Aquarium Rescue Unit—Ragland moved to Boston to study composition and improvisation with MacArthur Genius Award winning pianist and educator, Ran Blake. Since then, he has worked to combine his southern heritage, affinity for lyrical communication, and advanced guitar facility, which brings together country-style picking with the innovative chord structures of modern creative music.

His first solo disc, Untethered, was released in late 2001 on his Riparius Records label. In a recent review, Metronome called Ragland "a modern day poet of the highest order," and the recording, "superbly original and refreshing." The diverse mix of light-hearted odes and country ditties, regretful lovelorn tales, and creative distillations of Lennon/McCartney and Billie Holiday covers offers an inclusive new approach to traditional acoustic music, which Performing Songwriter called "a deeply intimate collection."

Along with an active performing career that includes appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., New York’s Knitting Factory and New England Conservatory’s legendary Jordan Hall, Ragland also oversees Riparius Productions. The company provides a variety of professional artist services from audio engineering and production work to full-scale web site design and development. He is also the Director of the Mountain Stage NewSong Festival.


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