WESTERN SAN JUANS – Yippee-aye-yo! Discover the tight harmonies and polished banter of the band that brought cowboy music to Carnegie Hall and the Great Wall of China, as the Diamond W Wranglers mosey back to town to perform three boot-stomping, thigh-slapping concerts in Montrose and Ouray this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20-22.
This award-winning western music group, described by one critic as a “harmonizing honeypot of sound,” puts on a polished yet rufian show that combines traditional Western classics with Diamond W Wrangler originals, all of it well-seasoned with homespun humor.
The Wranglers’ 2013 spin through the area brings a little extra swagger in the person of iconic singer, songwriter, narrator and Western Music recording star, Rex Allen, Jr., who will be making a special guest appearance at the upcoming shows. In the world of Western music, this guy needs no introduction. Described as the man with the golden voice, he was the star of the The Statler Brothers Show as well as his own series, Yesteryear. He will be performing many of his own hit songs, as well as providing accompaniment alongside the Diamond W Wranglers.
Even for those unfamiliar with the Western music genre, Rex Allen, Jr.‘s voice will be familiar as the narrator of the Farrelly Bros. film Me, Myself And Irene starring Jim Carrey. When he intones "Meet Charlie" at the start of the film, you might expect him to introduce a mountain lion instead of Carrey’s character.
The Wranglers are comprised of Stu “Cyclone” Stuart (lead and harmony vocals, lead acoustic and electric guitar, fiddler); Jim Farrell, aka “Tennessee Jim” (harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, musical arranger); Steve Crawford, aka “Stevie C., the Rhythmic Cowboy” (drums, percussion, harmony vocals); and, the band’s youngest and newest member Chip Worthington (string bass, harmony and lead vocals – his incredible Irish tenor voice has prompted multiple standing ovations).
The band’s resume reads like a tall tale. They led a troupe of Western entertainers to Carnegie Hall in New York City twice to sell-out crowds, leading one Wall Street Journal critic to croon: “You had to be grateful that some mamas still let their babies grow up to be cowboy singers.”
They were also the first musicians from the western hemisphere to perform cowboy music in China, as well as the first musicians, period, to have a concert on the Great Wall of China.
In 2008, the Wranglers won the Will Rogers Award for “Western Music Album of the Year” from the Academy of Western Artists, for their album Deep in the Saddle. In 2010, upon the release of their CD The Old and the New, the Wranglers were ballyhooed by Western Way Magazine for “continuing to establish their standing as some of the most accomplished creators of music on the planet.” Their latest release, Time Changes Everything, is an eclectic collection of songs that expands the band’s vision of western music.
If you haven’t seen these guys play before, you’re in for a treat. It’s worth the ticket price just to hear them play “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”
What’s the hardest tune for a cowboy to croon? Turns out, ”The Streets of Laredo” might take that honor. Also known as the "Cowboy's Lament,” the famous cowboy ballad, in which a dying cowboy dispenses his advice to a living one, tops the list for Stu “Cyclone” Stuart, lead singer, lead guitarist, mean ole’ fiddle player, and main joke-cracker of the Diamond W Wranglers.
“The Smothers Brothers ruined it for me for a long time,“ Stuart said, referring to a slightly less haunting version of the tune that goes like this:
"We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys.
If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy too."
Don’t miss the boys, and their outfits, at three live shows in the coming nights:
Friday, Sept. 20 – “The Very Best of Western Music” with the Diamond W Wranglers and Rex Allen, Jr.; Montrose Pavilion, 7 p.m. Tickets, $25, are available at the Montrose Pavilion, Murdoch’s, brownpapertickets.com, Delta Area Chamber of Commerce and The Stone House. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Dolphin House.
Saturday, Sept. 21 – “The Very Best of Western Music” with the Diamond W Wranglers and Rex Allen, Jr.; Wright Opera House, Ouray, 7 p.m. Tickets, $25, are available at the Wright Opera House, Buckskin Books in Ouray and Cimarron Books in Ridgway. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Wright Opera House.
Sunday, Sept. 22 – Dinner show at the Historic Western Hotel, 5 p.m. Tickets, $50. Call 970/325-7255 or 970/901-8515 to purchase. Featuring a gourmet dinner prepared by chef Rose Marie, followed by a special performance by the Diamond W Wranglers.
For more information, contact John or Virginia Ast, 970/325-7255 or 970/901-8515 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.