The story so far ......

The 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 Brew Records”.

Soon 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 Hancock.

In 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.

When 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.

One or two instrumentals always have been a part in the set, but how did we end up playing instrumental gigs?

Sietse, 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.

Today 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)

The 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 others.

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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Homebrew Records - P.O. Box 21685 - 3001 AR Rotterdam - Netherlands

Phone: +31.10.4123398 - Mobile: +31.6.1010.7997 - Mobiel: 06.1010.7997

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