Range Men founder and frontman Don Modderman resides in Regina, Saskatchewan – heart of the ‘Last Best West’.
Don has been active in the Regina music scene for over 3 decades, playing in Emerel, The Styles, Weekend Review, Prelude, Cold Heat, Mystic Traveller, Crofter’s Revenge and numerous other projects and bands. Don has mastered the bass (fretless, acoustic and upright), keyboards, flutes & whistles, baritone ukulele, 4 string banjo and tenor guitar.
While touring in early bands, Don was inspired by the history and landscapes around him. He began songwriting with early tunes such as ‘Back in Time’. Eventually, he found that he had 2 parallel styles developing; the Mystic & Celtic Flute style as best evidenced by his CD’s ‘Steps of Romance’ & ’Garden’ and his Western Roots style.
In further exploring the Celtic path - Don also put in 10 years developing and honing the well-known band Crofter’s Revenge. They recorded 2 well-received CD’s and gained notoriety for the pirate-passioned live shows.
Don began his Western music odyssey with Ragtime Don’s ‘Ghost Town Trail’, which required learning Ragtime song styles along with plenty of travelling in Saskatchewan doing historical research. This paid off as Don was able to play some key dates during the Saskatchewan Centennial. Martin Sattler, Alf Zumpano, Cam ‘Leather Lips’ Lockerbie, Brian Herman, Yvonne Redant, Rick McBain, Mike Krywulak & Scot Beaumont were all members of this era’s Ghost Town Gang.
For the second disc [‘Steamboats on the Saskatchewan’], Don collaborated with Moose Jaw guitar master and songwriter – Chris ‘CW’ Weber, with Trent Mailander assisting on drums. They retained the emphasis on Saskatchewan history and performed at the Old Wives Lake Festival, among others. There were also 2 performances at Festiv-Ale promoting this Western History sound.
Don has also collaborated with Ken Mitchell on his ‘Theatre on the Hoof' productions, – ably assisted by Judi (his wife/partner) on vocals and Jake Syrota on guitar and vocals. This trio performed admirably at the Gateway Festival windup performance in 2011.
Don is now spending 2012 concentrating on recording and honing his 3rd Western disc tentatively called ‘WHOOP IT UP!’ – It will have a retro Western swing and jump blues sound to it. Don has put his time into mastering Ragtime, Blues and Swing – so as to get the authentic Western Roots sound. Assisted now by Thom Tisher on vocals, guitar and bass, the Range Men will flesh out their sound with pedal steel and drums
They’ll see you on the festival circuit in 2013!