About RFABQ…

Radio Free ABQ is:
Dave Purcell – drums, lead vox, songs, samples
Scott Brewer – bass, vox
Ryan Goodhue – keyboards, accordion, vox
Travis Rourk – trombone, guitar, synth, vox

“All transmitters to full, all receivers to boost! This is London Calling!”

Radio Free ABQ’s journey began in summer 2021 when Purcell landed up in Albuquerque after three decades of leading successful bands in Cincinnati. Over 13 years and three records, the fiery Pike 27 – driven by Purcell’s songs that were equally influenced by alternative and roots music — garnered enthusiastic reviews and radio airplay, won regional music awards, opened for national acts, and earned a reputation as one of the area’s best live bands. Purcell took a step closer to his vision by founding Ghost Man On Second, an instrumental quartet with the motto “soundtracks for the movies in your head.” Ghost Man quickly gained a following while drawing on a wider range of influences than Pike 27. After settling into ABQ, Purcell assembled the right players to bring his vision to life and left the band to begin RFABQ.

Ryan Goodhue (High Desert Playboys) brings a deep knowledge of musical styles including jazz, Tex-Mex, and country on keyboard and accordion. Travis Rourk (DCO) is the band’s Swiss Army Knife, putting his UNM music degree to work on trombone, synth, and guitar. Scott Brewer (DCO) holds down the bottom end as one of the city’s most melodic bassists.

Together, they bring to life the concepts that Purcell scribbled in his journal after listening to Strummer on the BBC World Service: “Shortwave radio in the attic at midnight. A Jim Jarmusch soundtrack. Good grooves. Somewhere between London, Kingston, New Orleans, Memphis. A musical conversation – among us and with the audience.” What the hell does that even mean? Catch Radio Free ABQ live and find out.

Inspirations and influences

Calexico, Los Lobos, R.E.M., The Clash, Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, The Police, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Mark Guiliana, Paul Weller, Alejandro Escovedo, Morphine, Grant Lee Buffalo, The Iguanas, Bill Frisell, Medeski Martin & Wood, vintage tube amps, numbers stations, novels by Anthony Doerr and Paul Theroux, roasted green chiles.