Ted Z and The Wranglers
The Best Southern Rocking Honky Tonk Bar Band You’ve Never Heard!
I’ve played this EP a few times in the last few weeks and really, really enjoyed it ……. that is until the label got in touch to remind me that the ‘album’ release date was imminent.
But, there’s only 4 tracks.
DOH! I’d only misfiled the other 8 tracks; so have been on a steep learning curve this morning!
The recent single Guests on a Sunday Morning get the show on the road in a reeling and rollicking fashion. Loads of Twang Geetar; an adrenaline fuelled drummer and a bass player from the John Entwhistle mould support a tell-tale Country Rocker that Kris, Merle and Gram would all have been proud to cover; and then the title track Back to The Southland follows and you are immediatly transported to Saturday night in a ramshackle Honky Tonk somewhere you will never find again; and life is G.O.O.D
So, apart from having a great name, who are Ted Z and The Wranglers?
I’m not sure, but their names are Collin Mclean (bass), Jackson Leverone (lead and slide guitar, vocals) and Jordan Lipp (drums) and they come from Southern California. What else do we need to know? The music speaks for itself.
These guys combine the very best of Country Rock, Outlaw Country and Americana and can rip it up like any of our heroes (and Anti-heroes); but they can also break your heart with their tear inducing ballads too ……… Setting Sun and Angels are as romantic as Americana can get; and with San Antone they create imagery that I’ve not heard since Sturgill Simpson discovered Prog Rock!
There’s another beauty in here too; the heartbreaker duet Sweet Loretta which has Leverone and an unnamed young lady trading lines that will have your bottom lip trembling for the full four minutes.
Now I’m finally immersed in the whole album; those ballads are the ‘shade’ to the ‘light’ of their sing-along and danceable tracks that take a little bit from Southern Rock, Outlaw Country and Americana) to create songs that evoke memories of everyone from Merle through Skynard and ending up at the door of Whitey Morgan or Miss Margo Price !
I’m pretty sure that when played live Rambler and Wimberly will both be stretched out to inordinate lengths; but that shouldn’t let you miss out on the actual songs themselves; which are as interesting and accessible as any of the acoustic tracks.
Choosing a Favourite Song was originally quite easy (when I thought this was an EP), as Back In The Southland really is outstanding; but the cinematic romance of 101 ticks just about every musical box I have; yet the accolade goes to the sweet melancholy of album closer Bottles and Barrooms which sways like an Arizona breeze while the lyrics and slide guitar cut through you like cold steel.
Ted Z and the Wranglers are the type of band you dream of finding in a bar on a dark night in a strange town; and by the end of the evening they will be your new favourite band of all time.
Released 1st November 2019