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Interview w/ Ryan Hall: Founder and Frontman for The Pulpit Ramblers

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The Pulpit Ramblers, is there any significance to that name?

You know, when I was 13 years old, I ran away from home. I had this massive plan to live down on the river bottoms of the Lavaca River like a wild man and live off the land. Eating fish, sanitizing my own water and killing whatever game I needed to survive. So after riding my bicycle 5 miles out in to the country and spending a night on the river, freezing to death in the late October rain and getting raped by mosquitos, my plans of becoming a wild man were pretty much over and I went home the next day. When I was 14, my parents sent me to military school in Rosewell, NM.  It was a good plan I supposed, but it was obvious that I had some gypsy blood in my veins. It didn’t take me long until my thumb was in the air and I hitchhiked all the way from Roswell to Hallettsville, TX where my father met me and carried me the last 40 miles back home. So that’s where the second word in the band name comes from. I guess rambling has always been in my blood. As far as Pulpit goes, I was raised a Baptist and forced to go to church 3 times a week, whether I liked it or not. Aside from the smoke and booze, taking the stage from behind a mic when I sing my songs is very similar to being behind a pulpit.


Tell about the band. How did you guys get together?

The two founding members of the band are myself and the bass player Rick Cakvert. When I was a kid, just out of high school, one of the most awesome bands I’d ever heard was Houston Marchman and the Contraband. Their songs were great and their shows were even better. Rick was playing bass for Houston in those days. And back then, I thought he was the greatest bass player if ever heard. To this day, my opinion hasn’t changed. I’m blessed to have Rick in the rhythm section.

Our lead guitar player is Mike Webb. I’ll never forget the first time I met Mike. God, how could you… I grew up in south Texas and I used to have a ’68 Cadillac. After a long night of drinking, myself and a couple of buddies decided to drive that Cadillac down to Mexico and go to Boys Town. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or just bad decision making on our part.

By the time we got to Boys Town after paying for fuel, we only had about $50 bucks between the 3 of us. We realized we didn’t have enough money for the finer pleasures that place has to offer so we ended up at a little dive named the Donkey Bar. Little did we know, that was the home of the gal that loves the horse.

It was 8am when we walked into that shithole of a dive and there wasn’t a soul in the house except for one man sitting in the shadows with a half drank bottle of tequila on the table and smoking a half burned cigarette. We sat down at the first place we saw and no sooner than we sat down, out came a Mexican with a tip bucket telling us that we had to tip before we could enjoy the show. We knew we had to get back home so we threw about $25 bucks in the bucket saving our last $25 for gas on the way home.

The next thing we know, two Mexican fellows lead the most laid back donkey I’ve ever seen into the room. I think it’s safe to say that poor creature knew what was coming. After that came Mexico’s finest specimen of a woman we had ever seen (sarcastically speaking)….

All I’m gonna say is that she and that poor, poor donkey did their dance of love. There I was, sitting there in that nasty Mexican bar with one of the worst hangovers known to man and a queazy… uneasy feeling in my gut, trying to forget what I just witnessed. About that time one of my buddies looks at me and says, “Let’s get the fuck outta this place. I think this was a bad idea.” He didn’t have to tell me twice so we got up and left.

We walked outside that bar, hungover, disgusted looking for that Cadillac only to find it was gone. Somebody stole my 1968 Coupe Deville. There was nothing we could do but accept that fact, because once a car disappears in Mexico it’s gone. That ol stranger in the bar walks out and said, “I guess you boys could use a ride back to Texas…. I stuck out my hand and said we would appreciate that. Me and Mike Webb have been friends and music partners ever since.


How would you describe your sound/style?
Motörhead meets Hank Williams


Who are some of the band’s influences?
Motörhead, Brent Best, Willie Nelson, Javi Garcia, Drive By Truckers


What about you? How long have you been playing music and what inspired you to start?
I’ve been playing music all of my life in one respect or another. I got busted with a bag of weed in high school and got to spend my probation working for the Pentecostal Church. They put me to work playing rhythm guitar twice on Sunday and once Wednesday, that is where is refined the art of rhythm.


Is there someplace people can hear/buy your material online?
Yes, you can find us on Facebook, our music is available for purchase on iTunes and we are on ReverbNation. We also have some merch available if you contact us on Facebook.


Do you or the band have any shows scheduled?

We are currently working on our second album and we hope to have some new shows scheduled soon.