by Greta Taylor
The smell of summer food swirled through the air and all worries brought on during the pandemic drifted away as the Ravelers took to the stage to perform classic rock and roll songs Saturday at Memorial Park in Claremont.
The band’s first song of the night was “Start it Up,” an upbeat tune that got people to move up to the front for dancing. Throughout the night the Ravelers delivered high energy covers of songs from the 1950s and 1960s from artists like Bobby Darin, Steve Wonder and the Beatles.
Guitarist Pat Naish’s licks and riffs during “Let it Roll” displayed his mastery of the instrument.
The band, formed in 1987, includes Hai Muradian on guitar, sax, flute and vocals; Martie Echito on keyboards, guitar, bass and vocals; Rob Haerr on drums and Naish on guitar, harmonica and vocals.
The band members cite the Beatles as their favorite band. Their name comes from an obscure Beatles recording that went out to fan club members during Christmas.
The Ravelers also are known for their unique shirts. The band has over 50 shirts, each with names such as the Brunswick, stain-glass and kaleidoscope puke.
“When I was asked to join, I said I’ll only join if we dress up cool,” said Muradian.
After nearly 35 years of playing together, the Ravelers have formed a strong brotherhood.
“We still love each other. Pat and I are best friends. We don’t agree politically or religiously, but I would do anything for him,” said Muradian.
Unity and love despite differences in opinions is something the band agrees everyone needs. That is the purpose of a concert in the park.
“Anything that can bring the community together is a really good thing,” Muradian said. “We need this too.”
In 2020, Muradian’s wife, Leslie, died. Over the years, Muradian has written 10 songs for her and plans to record them. He said he finds strength in music and is what gives meaning to his life.
The last song of the night, “Drift Away,” encapsulated the feelings in the air on Monday. The lyrics say “Give me the beat boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away.”
“When I am at a Ravelers concert, I feel like I am back in high school, that’s why I come,” said Lois Wilson, resident of Claremont.
Visit ravelers.com for more information about upcoming events.
Greta Taylor can be reached at email@example.com.