Dust Bowl Ramblers

We were an acoustic band that played and sung old time country and blues from the 1930’s as well as Depression Era music. We played upbeat music with guitars, banjo, bass, fiddle, and mandolin.

Although we are no longer playing together, we are leaving our website live just in case . . . 

Former Members

Tom Naples

Tom Naples

Vocals, Banjo, Guitar

Tom is a folk musician and researcher. He has spent much of the last ten years learning about the Great Depression and collecting music and oral histories from that period. During this time, he conducted numerous field trips to interview people with first-hand knowledge of the Dust Bowl. Besides performing this music throughout the U.S., he has appeared on radio and television where he performed and spoke about this period of history. Tom also co-authored “The American Deal” with John Elston, a musical set in Depression Era Buffalo.
John Brinkman

John Brinkman

Vocals, Bass

After learning to read music via elementary school trumpet lessons, falling in love with melody by paging through Beatles Song Books with a guitar while in middle school, and failing miserably to harness the substitutions of Jazz chords, or get the rockers Aftermath or The Crouching Onions out of the basement during high school, John’s guitar was dormant, except for Christmas carols during December, until about age 40.

Joining, and eventually leading, a church choir guided John to a local music shop, Nickel City Frets, which nurtured a fine group of fellows who ventured out to Nursing Homes and Ice Cream Shops as More Than a Nickels Worth. Assisted by the gift of a mandolin from his wife, John joined an acoustic group, Jim Vozga and Friends, and began frosting his music with not only mandolin, but eventually banjo, guitar, and then both electric and acoustic bass. John’s progress with these instruments was enhanced by a stint with the alt-country band Orphans of Country, joining the classic rock band Box of Wine, and spending Saturday afternoons with The Black Rock Fiddle Group.

Now retired from teaching high school chemistry, with four kids independently earning a living outside the house, and two grandkids to inspire, John enjoys the additional challenge of holding the bottom line with “The Dust Bowl Ramblers.”

Curt Ahrens

Curt Ahrens

Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin

Curt Ahrens (a/k/a Spike Driver) has been playing acoustic music in Western New York since the early 1980s. Curt first played as a member of Old Hat (1983 Erie County Fair Bluegrass Band contest winners), where he started out on guitar and vocals, later switching to the upright bass. Curt has since appeared on bass with local bluegrass band Dempsey Station, country blues trios Built for Comfort and Dark Road, and as guitarist and front man with Spike Driver and the Nine Pound Hammers (and its later reincarnations Free Range String Band and Them Other Pluckers).

Curt played electric bass and vocals for five years (2008-2013) with the original rock band Liberty Bay, appearing on their 2009 release Liberty Bay. In addition to appearing with the Dust Bowl Ramblers, he can be seen on upright bass, along with “Harmonica Vic” and Cinde as the Dark Road.

Maggie Zindle

Maggie Zindle

Vocals, Fiddle

Maggie has been singing since she was four and playing violin since she was eight. She started performing with the Skiffle Minstrels (2005-2013), playing fiddle and singing back-up vocals. Maggie also sings and plays with Slim Chance and the Can’t Hardly Playboys.

Maggie learned fiddle techniques from Phil Banaszak and Darrol Anger and has done studio work for Dave Ostrowski. Maggie was formerly a professional soprano with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and currently works as a staff singer at the Westminster Presbyterian Church and as a music instructor at Mainstage Studios. Occasionally, you may hear her on the radio doing commercial voiceovers or see her performing on the local stages in Buffalo. Maggie just closed the hit “Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical” at Shea’s 710.

Upcoming Shows

The Dust Bowl Ramblers will no longer be performing. We thank you for your support. We’ve left our music here for you to enjoy.

Music

Dust Bowl Rambler’s Mix Tape

The photo slideshow is what accompanies DBR when they perform the Music From The Depression programs. Enjoy!

No One Knows You

September 23, 2017 – Carnegie Art Center sponsored by the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation.

Mama Tried

September 23, 2017 – Carnegie Art Center sponsored by the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation.

Duncan And Brady

September 23, 2017 – Carnegie Art Center sponsored by the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation.

Blue And Lonesome

September 23, 2017 – Carnegie Art Center sponsored by the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation.

Ashokan Farewell

September 23, 2017 – Carnegie Art Center sponsored by the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation.

Photos

Thank You For Your Support