NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) Well, gosh, you fellow cowpokes, the folks here at CelebrityAccess got to spend a few minutes with Ranger Doug from Riders In The Sky and got a chance to see what’s new.
All hyper-fluidity aside, Douglas B. Green has spent more than 40 years fronting one of the most influential bands in country/western history and is known not only as a music historian and accomplished yodler, as well as the man in charge of “Ranger Doug’s Classic Cowboy Corral,” but the writer of numerous songs like the absolutely beautiful “Lonely Yukon Stars.”
Riders In The Sky are known for many things – like their kid’s show on Saturday mornings – including announcing their show number. Seriously: the band introduces itself with the number of its show and that is now into the 7,000’s.
Are you near the CMT Awards at Bridgestone today?
We have no part of that. I’m here in Nashville but I’m not stuck at all.
Just thought the traffic was crazy.
I bet you it is! I haven’t been out much.
You’re heading back to Bonnaroo. What was the take on the last visit and what do you anticipate this time?
Well, I think it’s going to be great. The response was tremendous last time. We got a lot of great press out of it and as soon as we broke into “Woody’s Roundup” all the kids jumped up. It was just very exciting.
A lot of good music there. We only do a couple, three songs but it was marvelous and I hope this year will be more of the same.
Are you only having one set there?
Well, it’s one big Grand Ole Opry show. There are dancers, contemporary country singers, classic singers, there’s us. Old Crow Medicine show.
How many shows, exactly, have you done as of today?
I watched you perform twice in one day at a festival and you added a one to the number for the second show. Do you ever, ever lose track of the number? Do you ever have to ask yourself the number from last night’s show?
Well, yes, but I have a written record so if I lose track on the road I can always come home and make sure it was right.
Gosh, no. I just think we’ve had this dual purpose of keeping alive this wonderful American style of music and creating within this style. And, at the same time, entertaining people, having fun, laughing. Being characters. It’s just been a great mix and it’s worked all these years.
Do you guys have any side gigs? Ever explore other genres?
Oh, we’ve all done different things. Joey is huge in the polka world so he plays polka festivals now and again and he’s going to Europe this summer, feted as one of the top accordionists in the world.
I play with The Time Jumpers every Monday night. Any Monday night when the Riders aren’t touring, I’m playing in a 10-piece Western swing band. Too Slim plays in a little New Orleans jug band thing.
We all have a lot of musical interests and continue to pursue them and continue to have fun but, of course, the majority of our time and energy is spent on Riders In The Sky.
Finally, any advice for the kids?
Always drink upstream from the herd.