A Preston roots band has been given a nod from America for its latest EP.
The Ramblin’ Riversiders has been awarded The Best International EP of 2018 for their three-track album The Red Magnolia Washboard, by the Rural Roots Music Commission Organisation.
The five-piece skiffle band, which formed in 1956, describe themselves as playing Americana roots music, mixed with blues, country and hillbilly.
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Lead vocalist Harold Dearden, 79, says: “An email arrived out of the blue from the President of The Traditional Music of America Association, informing us the band has been awarded The Best International EP of 2018, who said the award was well deserved.
“It was a complete surprise to the band. It is absolutely marvellous. Myself and bandmate Eddie Holden composed it.”
This is not the only award The Ramblin’ Riversiders have achieved. They won the Best Traditional Band of the Year at the 2003 Missouri Valley Festival in Iowa and in 2008 they were honoured with a Day of Recognition Award by the Governor of Tennessee.
The band was started in 1956 by teenager Dearden and his schoolboy friends in Walton-le-Dale after being inspired by the success of Lonnie Donegan’s song The Rock Island Line.
They have released 12 albums and first toured America in 2002. They have since then crossed the Atlantic eight times.
Their recent video on YouTube of The Ballad of Jesse James has reached more than 250,000 hits and was listed in the Top 100 Traditional American Songs, which also included the likes of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Hank Williams.
Dearden, of Bamber Bridge, adds: “It is superb, touring in America. We have made a lot of friends and connections over there.
“We have been asked to start playing at the state fairs in the capitals, which will involve a lot of travelling in between. Previously we have stuck to local town festivals which don’t involve as much travelling.
“In a 62-year-old career, playing in various bands, I always kept the lineup different. We had a desire to remain on the semi professional circuit and we all had full time jobs alongside this. The music we play goes back at least 100 years and the blues music is still very popular.”