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Venue owner passionate about live music

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Josh Ragsdale said there were some people who thought he might be a little crazy when he said he wanted to bring touring musical acts to Roswell.

Ragsdale

Working in the music business can be tough, but Ragsdale felt he already had some good experience under his belt when he took the dive.

“I went to college at Vanguard University in Southern California and worked for a record label called Floodgate Records,” he said. “They were purchased by Warner Music, so I became an employee of Warner. I learned a lot about the music industry and promoting concerts. So when I moved back to Roswell I kept those connections.”

Ragsdale is now the owner of not just one, but two music venues in Roswell, Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro and The Liberty Social Club at North Virginia Avenue and West Main Street.

For a while, he owned another business called Vita Productions that booked Christian and country artists.

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However, he merged that company into a new one called The Liberty Presents.

“That added a little more consistency to The Liberty brand,” he said.

The Liberty is the larger of the two venues and can be rented out for weddings and civic events.

Besides featuring live entertainment, Pecos Flavors is a winery with a tasting room, an upscale restaurant and a deli.

Pecos Flavors was opened by Ragsdale’s parents, Paul and Cindy, in 2004. Until about two years ago, it was located on North Main Street near the former Ginsberg Music Store. Ragsdale said at one time it was a silent movie theater called The Liberty, and that’s where he got the name for his social club.

The Liberty’s building has gone through a few transformations in its lifetime, Ragsdale said, including an auto parts store and a carriage house.

Ragsdale is a 2002 graduate of Goddard High School. He has a wife, Megan, and two sons, Russell, 3, and Briggs, 2.

Asked if he sees himself as an inspiration to other young people who may want to start a business, Ragsdale replied: “I don’t know if we have set an example. I am just very appreciative of the support we’ve gotten from the community.”

Ragsdale said he is grateful to be doing something he is passionate about.

Through his work, he has had the opportunity to meet music legend Leon Russell, actor Billy Bob Thornton with his band the Boxmasters and The Wailers, most of whom were the bandmates of reggae legend Bob Marley.

“To have the honor to work with Leon Russell was really cool — to hear all of his stories before he passed away,” Ragsdale said.

When The Wailers performed at The Liberty not long ago, Ragsdale said he got to hear their personal accounts about the late Bob Marley, who more than any other musician, brought Jamaican reggae into the mainstream.

Ragsdale comes from a fifth-generation New Mexico family and is a third-generation Roswellian.

He and his family attend Christ Church in Roswell.

“All of my family is here,” he said. “I like the Southwest. We are in the desert but are a couple of hours away from skiing. He also likes to hunt and fish.

Asked if he has any plans to expand his business, Ragsdale replied: “I am always open to growth. I have a few things on the horizon but have enough to handle right now.”

Community News reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.

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