Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 21 August 2007 10:32
|Prairie Wranglers members Orin Friesen, Jim Farrell and Stu Stuart are scheduled to perform during the Florence Labor Day weekend. The downtown concert is planned for 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2. Courtesy photo. Click image to enlarge|
The Prairie Rose Wranglers, now known as the Prairie Wranglers, will be the featured entertainment in Florence Sunday, Sept. 2, during the Labor Day celebration.
The group is scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m. downtown. A $4 Florence Labor Day button is required for admission; lawn chairs are recommended.
The Prairie Wranglers, formed in 1999, perform western songs of the silver-screen cowboy era, such as “Cool Water,” “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” and “Ghost Riders In The Sky,” as well as classic cowboy trail songs and Prairie Wranglers originals.
The group’s tight harmonies and humor make for a show the whole family will enjoy.
The Prairie Wranglers are in demand, not only for their own shows and around the country, but also as recording and performing backup for stars such as Roy Rogers Jr., Rex Allen Jr., and Johnny Western.
The group has performed on the Western Music Awards Show in Las Vegas, and hosted the Great American Cowboy In Concert at Carnegie Hall in 2003 and 2004.
Their performances have been praised by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the London Times, New Yorker Magazine, Billboard Magazine, and other newspapers and magazines around the world.
The Wranglers bring years of experience to the stage, and they have each worked in other cowboy bands. They share a deep love for the music of the West.
Stu Stuart, the group’s lead singer, lead guitarist and fiddler, loves the stories told in the classic cowboy songs and even writes a few of his own.
When he’s not playing music, Stuart can usually be found making things out of wood.
Rhythm guitarist, Jim Farrell loves the complex chord changes and close harmonies of western music. He grew up in the recording industry of Music City USA, Nashville, Tenn., and runs the state-of-the-art Prairie Rose Recording Studio, home of Prairie Rose Records.
In 2005, the National Cowboy Museum awarded Farrell its prestigious “Wrangler Award” as western music’s producer of the year.
Bass player Orin Friesen loves western music because it portrays the lifestyle he has always loved. As a child, he rode his horse to ride fences and count the beef cattle his family raised in Nebraska.
“I was too shy to sing to people,” he said, “but I didn’t have a problem singing to the cows. And it didn’t seem to bother them.”
A few years ago, Friesen fulfilled a life-long dream when he purchased his own ranch, where he raises horses and cattle.
Friesen’s voice has been heard on Kansas radio stations for 40 years. His “Prairie Rose Cowboy Hour” can be heard Saturday afternoons on AM 1070, The Ranch.
Joining the Wranglers for most performances is Steve Crawford, known as “Stevie C, the Rhythmic Cowboy.” Crawford plays drums and percussion and sings bass.
In 2006, the group headlined their third annual Cowboy Cruise and made history as the group took cowboy music to China.
They also maintain a heavy studio schedule, backing dozens of singers. They have recorded 10 albums of their own as well as a soundtrack for a national TV documentary.