Rogueish and with Tramp-Debonnaire, these gypsies emerge from the dusty haze of the Old West and ascend the stage to share what they have found in their wanderings. Namely, a rich new blend of old musics with gypsy styling.
The Whiskey Folk Ramblers create music of a new sound. It's some strange, unexplored sub-genre of indie-country. Part spaghetti-western, part eastern-european folk, melded with dancehall country and with undertones of american folk and bluegrass. The style could be called Western Gypsy or Gypsy Americana.
Picked apart, you can find influences from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash to wandering bands of gypsies in the desert. The instrumentation gives one a sense of the Appalachians, but you'd be hard-pressed to call it bluegrass. Close your eyes and you'll imagine the dusty lone gunfighter pushing through a saloon door in a Sergio Leone film.
Whiskey Folk Ramblers have been compared to the likes of contemporaries Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa and the Pogues.
The critics have their say:
"When I think of whiskey and music, I generally think only of the alt-country force known as Whiskeytown. However, after listening to Whiskey Folk Ramblers' long awaited album, Midnight Drifter, I now can’t help but think of two bands. Midnight Drifter is an impressive album full of traditional Americana themes. The LP starts out with an intro into Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man” with Tyler Rougeux's haunting vocals. The whole album moves like you are listening to a sonic version of an old western. Some of the stand out tracks include “River Song,” “Moanin’ Rag,” and the traditional “Great Grandson.” Overall the album is a first-rate blend of folk, alt-country, bluegrass and Americana.
- Nicholas Altobelli, Sample Press
"As anyone who's seen their live shows can attest, the Ramblers are remarkably relaxed and confident, even verging on virtuosic, with their gentle, punchy and occasionally other-worldly blend of what might be called wayfaring music. Harmonica lines echo the '60's folk revival, banjo picks and plucks evoke the hillbilly nights of prohibition, and the cool thump and thud of the upright bass recall the shoegazers of '50's jazz clubs. The Whiskey Folk Ramblers wander not just through different styles but also across distinct eras."
-the Fort Worth Weekly
"Their songs, punctuated by a trumpet, accordion and haunting violin, seemed to do the trick as the crowd broke into sections of revelers trying their hands at Yemenite dance moves on a Texas two-step learning curve. Watching Whiskey Folk Ramblers play made me wonder if this is what Charlie Daniels imagined when he described the "band of demons" who joined the devil's performance before Johnny..... with a touch of the avant-garde."
-Erin Rice, Pegasus News
"The only band with the word 'whiskey' in it's name that's worth a damn. If the Grapes of Wrath had a happy ending, Whiskey Folk Ramblers would have written the soundtrack."
-the Dallas Observer
"Whiskey Folk Ramblers have injected traditional country, pop music’s oldest and most distinctly American genre, with a shot of youthful energy and Old World instrumentation. Their arrangement of “Die Easy” is a perfect summation of the band’s approach. It’s a traditional folk song, and they start it out traditionally enough, with a somber chorus of “Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh” over a slowly strummed acoustic guitar, banjo picking and a walking bass line that could have been recorded 75 years ago. Midway through, though, they start ratcheting up the tempo just as the fiddle takes up a melody that would sound right at home in a Romanian gypsy camp. They also offer an interesting take of Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man,” slowing it down to a dirge and accenting it with accordion and guest player Pat Adams’ muted trumpet. They do a much straighter version of the traditional “Great Grandson,” a song that singer Tyler Rougeux learned from his grandfather. “Moanin’ Rag” combines getaway-scene banjos with a shuffling beat and an insanely catchy moaning chorus. The title track is another excellent accordion-accented Eastern Europe meets Old West folk number. Bookending the CD is a pair of Ennio Morricone-inspired intro and outro instrumental tracks that set the mood perfectly."
-Jesse Hughey, Dallas Observer