The Wilders

A barn-storming performance of old style country from this Tennessee quartet. Mixing foot stomping bluegrass and honky-tonk country blues with dark “hillbilly murder ballads” these guys are masters of their instruments. Guitar, fiddle, stand up bass and dobro whip up a storm in the elegant surroundings of the Spiegel Tent.

Let me introduce the charming and supremely talented hosts of this jumping Nashville party of a show. Betse Ellis rocks the joint with her sassy fiddle playing and shares lead vocals with Ike Sheldon on guitar. Nate Gawron slaps out the rhythm on stand-up bass while Phil Wade swaps between mandolin, banjo and slide guitar. The quality of the playing is staggering and the whole band delivers perfect country vocal harmonies. These guys are the real deal and you just know they’ve got the music in their bones.

Crowded round the microphone with Stetsons bobbing and feet stomping they ripped through some of the finest old school country music I have ever heard. And when they turned to the lilting country ballads they could have had the meanest cold-hearted cowhand sobbing into his beer. Performing a mixture of standards and their own original material the band clearly relish the darker side of country. One of the highlights has to be Betse’s solo rendition of “John Henry” performed with heart wrenching vocals and perfectly wailing violin.

The band is having a great time and they make sure their audience does too. By the end of the show everyone is stompin’ and a whoopin’ and there was no way they were leaving without an encore.

Catch them while you can there’s only a few nights left. I for one am going back!

Reviews by Bruce Kent

Esoterica

★★★

Whiskey Bars

★★★★★

Kevin Gildea

★★★★

The Wilders

★★★★★

Philotus

★★★★

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The Blurb

'If this were old Salem, they'd be burned at the stake. They play like they're possessed.' The Wilders from Missouri make a triumphant return after last year's sell-out run. Watch these amazing Herald Angel winners rock The Spiegeltent!

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