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“The Ronstadts preserve & redefine a century-plus family
tradition, integral to the diverse tapestry of American music.”
—Stephanie P Ledgin, author, Discovering Folk Music

BIO

Ronstadt Brothers, led by multi-instrumentalists Michael Gilbert and Peter Dalton Ronstadt along with multi-fascited drummer Aaron Emery, present a new and fresh take on the traditional Southwestern and Mexican folk songs and offer innovative original material to millennials discovering the treasure of roots music.  An aural illustration of inception to creation, this musical journey will take you from the past to the present steeped in the Americana vein, carrying forward a sound closely tied in its infancy to their aunt Linda and their father Michael. Join the Ronstadt Brothers on their journey through the Post-Modern American West

 

Just a few words of praise for the band:

 

“As a DJ, it goes without saying that I get to hear a lot of different music. The more I think about it, the band is Americana. And possibly the best example of it I can think of: an all-encompassing, fearless, vast, ambitious interpretation of all the sounds we are, packaged into small, rich, textured snapshots we can listen to over and over again”. —Piper LeMoine KOOP-FM Austin, Texas

 

“We had the band perform for Belleville Roots in January of this year. The musicianship was wonderful and the crowd seemed to especially gravitate towards the interaction between the cello and saxophone, a combination we’ve never had in our five years of shows.” —Ken Irwin, Founder; Belleville Roots Festival and co-founder of Rounder Records

 

One of the 15 best Americana Albums of 2016 by PopMatters:

“Their familial musicianship best culminates in theirincredible knack for harmony and lively performances”. —Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters

 

a critic favorite of 2016 by The Commercial Appeal

"...the fifth album by this multigenerations roots/folk outfit...strikes me as a mood- (and region-) evoking masterpiece  one that mixes traditional Mexican numbers and songs of the Southwest into a cinematic whole." Bob Meher, The Commercial Appeal

 

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PRESS & REVIEWS

June 2, 2015

By Hunterdon County Democrat

 

The magnificent voice of pop superstar Linda Ronstadt has been silenced by illness, but the musical tradition of the Ronstadt family continues in the form of Ronstadt Generations. On July 17, the band will perform a benefit concert at the Stangl Stage in Flemington for the Flemington Area Food Pantry.

 

Representing five generations in North America, Michael J. Ronstadt (younger brother of Linda) and his sons, Michael G. and Petie, are multi-instrumentalists and solo performers presenting an exciting repertoire that preserves the traditional Southwestern songs of their heritage while offering innovative original material of multiple, blended genres, stretching the boundaries of folk, blues, and beyond. Rich harmonies are accompanied by outstanding cello and guitars, and on their current tour the band has added the soulful tenor sax of Tucson-based Alex Flores.

 

Individually and together, in the U.S. and across the United Kingdom and Europe, this band of modern-day troubadours has collaborated with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Dixie Hummingbirds, David Bromberg, Nydia Rojas, Tish Hinojosa, Muriel Anderson, and Mariachi Vargas.

 

The Flemington Area Food Pantry is a donation-supported, nonprofit volunteer organization providing supplemental groceries to 1,300 food insecure Hunterdon County families at no cost. Pantry clients include low-income families with children, seniors living on fixed incomes, and individuals and families who find themselves out of work or earning too little to meet their basic nutritional needs.

 

The one-night-only benefit concert for the Flemington Area Food Pantry will begin at 7 p.m., Friday, July 17, at the Stangl Stage. 50 Stangl Road, Flemington. Doors open at 6 p.m. Ticket price for the concert is $20 per person. Seating is limited and advance tickets may be purchased online at www.flemingtonfoodpantry.org/concert.

March 25, 2015

by Jonathan Frahm

Tucson Local Media, tucsonlocalmedia.com

 

Though Linda is the most famous one—and her legacy is most certainly not one to shake a stick at—the Ronstadt family’s Arizonan musical roots were actually sewn much earlier when her great-grandfather emigrated to the southwest from Germany in 1841.

 

To this day, members of the family are still keeping their five generations-strong musical roots going. 

 

Ronstadt Generations, comprised of Linda’s younger brother Michael J., and his two sons, Michael G. and Petie, are one of the family’s most recent testaments to their history.

 

For the last five years, the trio have been performing an assortment of folk, blues, classical, and even Latin styles throughout Tucson and its surrounding cities, managing to master each. 

 

Some of their shows have been through programs hosted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) as the concert series at the Oro Valley Marketplace series. 

 

“Besides the show being a little bit cold, it was a pleasure to see everyone come out,” Michael G., the band’s cellist, had stated. “To see them come out here despite the weather warms our hearts.” For all 3 of them, the grateful crowd at the chilly show reaffirmed to them Tucsonan’s appreciation for what they, as a family, have always striven to accomplish when performing, regardless of the size or location of their venue. 

 

Petie said their family would always play music together in the living room during get-togethers, and that he was confused when visiting a friend’s house for the first time as a child when they did not celebrate the same traditions. Michael G. continued, “One thing that we have always tried to do on stage, whether it be in house concerts or at a public venue, would be to bring that living room with us to accentuate that feeling of family.”

 

“It’s always been a family thing, so in terms of starting Ronstadt Generations, I really wanted to keep that tradition,” added the two’s father, Michael J. “I’ve found that a lot of people really don’t know who they are. It’s our roots who make us who we are, so our hopes are that, by presenting what we present in our performance, we can encourage people to go back and say, ‘Hey, maybe we can go back and look into our family a bit.’”

 

An accentuation of family roots may be their primary goal as a celebratory musical act, but the men of Ronstadt Generations also acknowledge the even higher calling of their music being a part of the healing process for many individuals attending their shows. “I definitely feel that music has a large healing quality. We have had many people after our shows telling us about how our music had helped them brave through a specific illness, or crisis,” Michael J. mused.

 

Going beyond even those moments, however, are the times when Michael and his sons have seen what their performances have done for people afflicted with memory loss and mental illnesses. Michael J. continued, “To watch what happens when we play music at Alzheimer’s homes is something that is almost impossible to put into words… It’s also universal. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or what language you speak, the way that music is presented generates emotion.”

 

“When hearing our music, there are people whose memories come back to them,” Petie added. “We have seen people who can’t generally even walk anymore getting up to dance along to our music. Music itself is just a pretty special thing.”

 

“Music is the only hope for the human species to actually get along in the world,” Michael G. had stated with a light chuckle. “It’s the mysterious thing that we do with no reason why for it beyond the fact that it’s needed. Not only does it unify us, but it can soften our hearts enough to help us get along when there are dividing issues.”

 

As a closing statement, Petie said on behalf of not only Ronstadt Generations, but for all musicians in the Tucson area, “People are always saying that there’s no good music anymore, but those are the people listening to just the radio. Go out to shows like what the SAACA has every month and find local artists. Embrace regional music.”

 

For more information on Ronstadt Generations, including where they will play next, visit their official website at www.ronstadtgenerations.

 

© 2015 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

November, 2014

Linda Ronstadt's younger brother Michael J. Ronstadt (vocals, guitars) and his two sons Michael G. (vocals, cello) and Petie D. (vocals, guitars, mandolin, banjo) are the Ronstadt Generations. Together with Los Tucsonensis, Alex Flores (vocals, tenor saxophone), Sam Eagon (bass), Aaron Emery (drums, percussion) Tom Hampton (lap steel) and Richard Katz (B3 organ), they returned to their Tucson studio to finish 8 songs that didn't make it on their 2012 album Prelude. 
The songs are kind of journey through America and it's musical history, starting off in Los Angeles with Jackson Browne and his melancholic ballad "For a dancer", hauntingly beautiful singing accompanied by guitar, cello, bass, drums and saxophone. Robert Johnson was one of Mississippi's most famous Blues musicians, they chose "Come on in my kitchen", lap steel, saxophone and cello play stunning solo parts and the singing is awesome. New York City's alternative Country singer Gillian Welch wrote "Annabelle", a mid tempo song brilliantly brought forward by the band. "Sixteen tons" is a classic Blues by Merle Travis from Kentucky and one of my favourite songs and the CD unfortunately ends already after 36 minutes with another evergreen, "Riders in the sky" by Arizona's Country legend Stan Jones. 
The new album of the Ronstadt Generation presents 8 cover versions, skilfully arranged for the band, the accomplished musicians leave their marks on each of the well known songs.

 

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Live: Ronstadt Generations

February 24, 2014

by Joshua Levine

Tucson Weekly, TucsonWeekly.com

 

RONSTADT GENERATIONS

CHICAGO BAR

Monday, Feb. 24

 

 

The Ronstadt name looms large over Tucson. But honestly, despite having lived in the city for more than 20 years, my association with the legacy is peripheral at best; the most I know is that Linda Ronstadt is somehow responsible for the Eagles and there's a public bus station named after the family.

 

At the Chicago Bar on Monday nights, it's a different story entirely. A couple of generations of the family get together and just play music for the sake of it. Folk, country, mariachi, blues—it seems the trio plays whatever suits their fancy. It's great stuff and especially great fodder to muse on how much better life would have been if these gentlemen had defined '70s Los Angeles country rock instead of Don Henley and the cocaine cowboys. Because Ronstadt Generations' music sounds lived-in, authentic, soulful, and affectless, it hits squarely in the gut and the heart.

 

One of the most intriguing aspects of the performance was the bond between the audience and the musicians. Nobody was cooler than anyone else, no one looked stupid while they were dancing to the music (and quite a few people were dancing), and no one on the tiny stage had the slightest air of arrogance or pomposity emanating from them. It was like a beautiful parallel universe where tradition doesn't mean a horrific history of segregation but the opposite, which would be the togetherness whose caricature those omnipresent Eagles made a mint off of. But on this night, the Eagles and their shadow were nonexistent. Which left us with Ronstadt Generations and their wonderful music.

 

The revelatory version of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice (It's Alright)" was, without being hyperbolic, absolutely stunning. It was the kind of performance that turned the "crying in your beer" (in my case, a whiskey and Coke) cliché on its head. In a week that saw the mockery of basic humanity in Venezuela, the Ukraine, and right here in Arizona, with our Larry, Moe, and Curly State Senate and their reprehensible SB 1062—and I don't know which is more reprehensible: the bill itself or the question of whether Governor Brewer will sign it into law—for a brief moment, I didn't think twice, everything was alright.

Amazon Review for Prelude: Always Room For Cello

December 27, 2013

By Gregor von Kallahann

Format: Audio CD

 

I've caught Ronstadt Generations in concert several times...over several months, and I just cannot recommend them enough. Michael J. Ronstadt and sons Petie and Michael G. have their own special magic. The famous last name may or may not help them commercially, but whatever attention it may get them initially, it's their talent and sheer musicality that ensure that they'll continue to win over audiences handily even if their last name were Smith.So, yeah, for the record, Michael J. is Linda's younger brother and has toured with her in the past. His son Michael G. lists performances with his celebrated aunt on his CV as well--and I assume Petie has had occasion to accompany sy tia Linda as well, professionally or no. The group is so good that you've got to know that Linda wasn't stretching the truth in the slightest when in interviews, she'd talk about her family's strong musical heritage. She was the one who became a superstar, but she certainly wasn't the only stellar talent in the clan.As a touring band, Ronstadt Generations consists (at least on the east coast) solely of Michael J. and sons. Closer to their Arizona home--and certainly in the studio--they collaborate with other musicians, namely Los Tucsonenses. Having heard many of this record's songs in concert, I find it fascinating to listen to them performed with fuller arrangements in the studio. (Not better or worse, just different, as we wishy-washy types are wont to say). However you slice it, the group's transcendent harmonies are always there. As is one element that makes the group's sound so unique. Young Michael G. is an accomplished cellist, and his virtuosic playing is a highlight (which is not to say that it's ever overwhelming. It's perfectly integrated into Ronstadt Generation's overall sound. And what a sound that is.

Amazon Review for Prelude: Prelude

May 19, 2013

By Eric Barton

Format: MP3 Music

 

Maybe there's a downside to having such a famous name or just too much noise out there to get through, but I can't understand why these guys aren't famous. Great singers, great players, great songs, but more than that, Prelude finds a balance between the influences of country, folk-rock and Tex-Mex and manages to mix it up with stings, sax and dead-on harmonies. The Mill Was Made of Marble...think The Mavericks with a cello jamming with Amos Lee after staying up all night listening to Lola Beltran. "For What it's Worth" is one of the best covers out there, flawless vocals on "The Mill Was Made of Marble" and "Malaguena Salerosa" is practically transcendent. Anyone interested in Roots/Americana should gives these guys a chance.

iTunes Review for Lulo

June 08, 2013

by CBA*123

 

What a great instrumental group!! Heard them live at a fundraiser tonight and just can't get over the talent! Seek them out if you can and enjoy!

iTunes Review for Prelude

July 07, 2013

by Soccer Matt17

 

I caught these guys live at a show in Doylestown, PA @ Puck venue. I did not really know what to expect - obviously the Ronstadt name reminded me of Linda, but I am a bit young to remember her well (though she seemed cool on that Eagles docu? sorry, probably damming with faint praise).  The night I saw them it was a 3 piece, with the (amazing) Michael G on cello, anchored by the deep experience of Michael J and the youthful energy of Petie. Really the way it fit together was great, really tight, and the storytelling behind the songs was amazing too. This is the first review I have ever written / not a real music person, but I would check these guys out. I do like me a good cover tune, so the first couple songs I downloaded were "For What It's Worth" (Prelude to a Highlife) and "This Land Is Your Land" (America, Our Home). Hope I can catch them live again, cheers!

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Ronstadt Generations y Los Tucsonenses: Prelude (Ronstadt Record Co.)

December 27, 2012

by Jim Lipson

Tucson Weekly, TucsonWeekly.com

 

Longtime Tucsonans know that music is only a part of the Ronstadt family business, right up there with hardware and public service. At the same time, there must be a responsibility inherent in maintaining the family brand to be interesting as well as good. By these standards, this album is an off-the-charts success.

 

Prelude has it all—songs that are tuneful and engaging, with expert and precise instrumentation (be it from the family core or the backing band, Los Tucsonenses), diversity, and terrific vocals and harmonies throughout. It's more than a mere collection of strong material. There is also artfulness in the way each song has been crafted, arranged and even selected for presentation.

 

While the first cut, "Prelude to a Highlife," opens with crisp guitars reminiscent of the Beatles' "All Together Now," Michael G. Ronstadt quickly takes things in a different direction with a big-time cello solo. A cover of Jimmie Rodgers' "California Blues" then brings Los Tucsonenses more into play, Alex Flores on sax in particular. The sound continues to expand on a cover of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth," distinguished by strong vocals and an original acoustic-guitar lick.

 

They don't hit full stride, however, until the band pulls back a bit with "The Mill of Oracle," "Malagueña Salerosa" and "Will You Fade," all of which contain elements of traditional and newly defined contemporary folk. They're Ronstadts. What else would you expect?

Amazon Review for Prelude: Prelude by the Ronstadt family

December 23, 2012

By Judith Constantine

Format: Audio CD

 

I bought this CD because I heard "Malaguena Salerosa" one night on the radio, and even though it was in Spanish and I didn't understand a word of it, I loved it! The harmonies are fabulous! The rest of the album is good. Their cover of "For What It's Worth" is a keeper, and this is now one of my favorite albums.

LAVA to feature Ronstadt concert MUSICAL TALENT SPANS GENERATIONS OF THIS WELL-KNOWN TUCSON FAMILY; SEE FOR YOURSELF SATURDAY EVENING

October 04, 2012

Submitted by Bonnie Vining of Lava Music

Arizona Daily Star, AZStarnet.com

 

Ronstadt Generations will perform Saturday evening as part of the Live Acoustic Venue Association's Abounding Grace Sanctuary concert series.

 

Ronstadt Generations will play from 7 to 9 p.m. at Abounding Grace, 2450 S. Kolb Road.

 

The Ronstadt name runs deep and wide in Tucson. My earliest recollection of it is associated with Ronstadt Hardware, where my mother worked in the late 1950s.

 

A little research revealed that Ronstadt Hardware was opened in 1886 by Fred Ronstadt, who was born on the Hacienda de las Delicias near Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, in 1868. He moved to Tucson at age 14 to learn the wagon-making trade, bringing with him a love of music. Around 1899 he and several of his friends formed Club Filarmonico de Tucson, one of Tucson's earliest orchestral groups.

 

Ronstadt's daughter, Luisa Espinel, became internationally known as an interpreter of Spanish song and dance in the 1930s. And his sons William, Alfred, Gilbert and Edward all made singing part of their family traditions.

 

Gilbert eventually took over management of Ronstadt Hardware and raised his four children - Peter, Linda, Michael and Gretchen (aka Suzy) on a 10-acre ranch near Tucson.

 

Around 1960 Linda, Peter and Suzy formed a band alternately called "The New Union Ramblers," "The Union City Ramblers" and "The Three Ronstadts."

 

They played at coffeehouses, fraternity houses and other small venues. A few years later, Linda moved to Los Angeles, where she began a long, illustrious career that was kicked off when she and Tucson's Bobby Kimmel founded The Stone Poneys, a band that produced a hit song called "Different Drum."

 

Peter would eventually serve as Tucson's police chief from 1981 to 1992.

 

Gilbert's youngest son, Michael (Mike), has also followed a musical path. He began playing guitar at age 6, around the time his older siblings formed their trio, and by high school he was performing with family members at community events as well as solo at local coffeehouses, restaurants and bars.

 

He moved to L.A. in 1975 where he worked in the recording industry and continued performing. In 1980 he returned to Tucson to manage Ronstadt Hardware until it closed in the mid-1980s. The Ronstadt Transit Center now sits where Ronstadt Hardware once was.

 

Mike performed with The Ronstadt Cousins until the late 1990s. He later teamed up with Ted Ramirez, Gilbert Brown and the late Arthur Miscione to form The Santa Cruz River Band.

 

Now the Ronstadt music tradition is spanning yet another generation with the group Ronstadt Generations. The band features Mike Ronstadt and his sons, Michael Gilbert (aka Michael G) and Petie.

 

Michael G is a virtuosic cellist who has performed at Abounding Grace with his band Lost in Holland. And Petie is an accomplished musician who plays guitar, bass and tuba.

"America, Our Home" to Commemorate Latino Patriotism, Ensure Latino Legacy is Acknowledged Throughout American Life

October 04, 2012

By Latin Times Staff Writer

Latin Times

 

The nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization MALDEF has released a new collection of American patriotic songs recorded in Mexican musical styles by the group Ronstadt Generations to "express the ongoing pride of the Latino community in the United States."

 

Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF said the collection "musically demonstrates that Latinos are among those who regularly defend our nation from those who would undermine our Constitution and our nation."

 

"Latinos have been an important part of this country for generations, with a long history of patriotic service that extends to today, when many immigrants undertake military and other public service out of devotion to the United States," Saenz said. "This patriotic record continues to the present, as recent immigrants and native-born Latinos take up public service in many forms, including courageously stepping forward to defend our constitutional values against efforts -- such as unfair and discriminatory laws -- that would undermine those unifying national principles."

 

The songs on "America, Our Home," all performed in English, include "America the Beautiful," "My Country 'Tis of Thee," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "This Land is Your Land."

 

The songs were recorded in four days and were composed by Michael Ronstadt who said the songs are "original interpretations of American patriotic music that reflect the multicultural roots of my family and of this country."

 

"We're thrilled to partner with MALDEF on this unique project that expresses our pride in America as well as honors our Mexican ancestry," Ronstadt said.

 

The original arrangements include musical styles such as bolero, cumbia and son jarocho, which use traditional Mexican instruments such as the 12-string bajo sexto guitar, the Mexican harp, the jarana guitar that resembles a ukelele, and the percussion instrument quijada de burro made from a donkey's jaw. Those instruments were combined with cello, bass, acoustic guitar and saxophone to create a unique style and sound for the recordings.

 

The music is available for digital download at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/america-our-home-ep/id540746881.

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“As you listen to the music passed down through the generations as well as new compositions, flavored with the rich history of our musical heritage, we hope that it will leave you with a desire from within, to explore your own history of family, songs and stories so that these treasures will continue to live on from generation to generation...”
—Michael J. Ronstadt
 
“Those long summer evenings of my childhood, when the moon made strange patterns on father’s guitar as he sang songs to me, are no more. But the imagination hears the romance and wistfulness of their melodies, hears them with a sweetness as subtle as the fragrance of wild flowers dried in herbs.”
—Luisa Espinel, Ronstadt Family “Poet Laureate”

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