The Melody Wranglers kick it up with old style country, western swing and honky-tonk music. They tip their hats to such country music greats as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard. Each of the Wranglers has over 30 years of professional music experience and all are former members of the legendary Nebraska country-swing band, Sour Mash. Wrangler members have recorded on numerous albums and CDs, performed on radio and TV and have won awards at music festivals across the country. With tight vocal harmonies and hot instrumental picking, if it calls for country, these folks can handle it.
Pam Barger (guitar, keyboard, vocals) began singing as a soloist at age 17. She recorded a duet album with Rick Evans of “In the Year 2525” fame. She was lead vocalist with Sour Mash for seven years, recording three albums with that group. Pam is also a published poet and highly respected music teacher who has written several articles on music education.
Randy Barger (guitar and vocals) started playing as a rock and roller in high school. In college he played in folk music groups and as a soloist. He was one of the founding members of Sour Mash and played all through the group’s 12-year run. Randy also plays rocking rhythm and blues with The Resonators.
Steve Blazek (steel guitar, dobro and vocals) began his career as a solo singer/songwriter. He later turned his attention to pedal steel guitar and moved to Nashville where he worked as a session musician and toured with James House. Since returning to Nebraska, Steve has played in numerous groups including the Bellflowers and with rockabilly recording artist Charlie Burton.
Jim Pipher (bass and vocals) did the teenage rock and roll thing, the college folk trio thing and was also a founding member of Sour Mash. Jim plays all styles of music in numerous groups. He has played on and produced many recordings including his solo record, A Tormented Genius and the KZUM record of the year, A Tall Grass Sampler. Jim is an award winning songwriter and author of short fiction. He is also a clinical psychologist who does speaking tours with his wife, Mary.
The Melody Wranglers will perform Sunday, June 14, 7 p.m., at the Davies Amphitheater. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students. The performance is sponsored by the Raymond Thomas Trust and the Friends of the Davies Amphitheater.