The story so far ......
Ragtime Wranglers recorded their first instrumental for a Ranch Girls EP
in 1993: the Joe Maphis classic “The Rocking Gypsy”. This song turned
out to be a much requested one and is still in their repertoire. In April
1995 the first 45rpm record was released on the band’s own label “Home
after this release we drew the attention of various promoters and were
lucky to have the opportunity to do a few live-concerts with American
“unsung heroes” from the 50’s: Curtis Gordon and Hardrock Gunter.
These successful shows were repeated the following years and even more
artists asked for the skills of the Ragtime Wranglers: Sid and Billy King,
the Collins Kids, Larry Donn, Marvin Rainwater, Frankie Miller, Jack Earls,
Charlie Louvin, Barbara Pittman and Janis Martin.
Also bands ask for the skills of individual Ragtime Wranglers; f.e. Huey
Moor played upright bass for Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) and Wayne
June 2004 the Ragtime Wranglers accompanied 2 band-members of the Lucky
Stars from Los Angeles at their European tour. The pressing of the
band’s next instrumental single “Low Man on a Totempole” was ready
just in time to promote it that tour in Barcelona, Milano, Munich, Zurich
and Berlin. A year later 14 instrumentals were released on the bands first
full length album “Groove A Tune” and they toured Europe with the
legendary Collins Kids and even supported them in Las Vegas USA.
you ask the Ragtime Wranglers about their musical influences, they all
will answer: Early Country, Hillbilly, Western, Swing, Rockabilly, Rock
and Roll, Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Surf, Jazz and everything in between.
Just take a look at our record collections and you’ll see we like a wide
variety, but…. we go wild for rocking instrumentals. It’s the Ragtime
Wranglers’ opinion catchy popular songs without vocals are a forgotten
form of art. It has been too long since the charts were filled with
instrumentals and not too many bands today play live without a vocalist.
Some favorite artists ??? Too many to mention! We cherish the reissues on
labels like Bear Family, Charly, Ace, White Label to name a few, but also
obscure releases and rare 45 or 78rpm finds.
or two instrumentals always have been a part in the set, but how did we
end up playing instrumental gigs?
Miss Mary Ann and I have been playing music together since the mid
1980’s. In 1991 we formed “The Ranch Girls & Ragtime Wranglers”;
female harmony vocals backed up by guitar, steel-guitar, upright bass and
drums. This line-up toured intensively around Europe and the USA. A year
after the last Ranch Girls album, in 2002, one of the Ranch Girls quit and
Miss Mary Ann continued singing solo with the Ragtime Wranglers. In the
same period she moved to the UK. Her trips from the UK to Holland
sometimes were impossible when requests for gigs came in at the last
minute. The Ragtime Wranglers never say “no” to a promoter, so….
that’s when we started doing live gigs with the trio, just the
instrumentalists, playing ….. instrumentals. On few occasions all
bandmembers sang, but these are exceptions.
we still play a lot of instrumental gigs, though the Ragtime Wranglers
with Miss Mary Ann remains our number one line-up.
Joe (guitar, steel-guitar)
Sietse (drums, percussion)
Huey (upright bass)
second full length album “15 Smoking Tracks” was released in 2011 on
the Dutch label Sonic Rendezvous. All of the songs are original
instrumentals. Joe Sixpack never could have created these without the
unrestrained enthusiasm and musical skills of drummer Sietse Heslinga and
upright bass player Huey Moor. Just like the first album, we invited guest
musicians to play along. On the record Benjamin Herman (Saxophone), Joe
Rivera (Trumpet) and Jeremy Wakefield (Steel Guitar) join in amongst
We like to work with special guests on stage too. A Ragtime Wranglers concert never is the same repeating of the previous show; our effort is to surprise with extra musicians and new songs. Until today we keep on playing live as often as possible. More exciting things to come in 2013: we’ll return to Spain, Germany, Swiss, the USA and for the first time….. Russia; with ole buddy Miss Mary Ann, instrumental gigs with the trio and a lot more. These concerts keep us going and give us all the drive and excitement. Thanks to everyone that give us such an incredible warm welcome everywhere we go!! We’re always waiting impatiently to play more shows like this. If you get a chance: don’t miss out when we play near you.
Joe Sixpack, Rotterdam, 5 December 2012
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