Just in time for the holidays and New Year, the always sensational Sprague Brothers are back with a sparkling new album, a remarkable celebration of song craft aptly titled, The Song. Long-time fans and newcomers alike will rejoice to discover that Frank and Chris Sprague have combed their archives for previously unheard versions of some of their choicest co-written songs, while also including new recordings of their classic songs as well as three up to the minute delicacies.
As ever, on The Song, these Wichita Falls, Texas, natives serve up a festive musical stew of pure rock ‘n’ roll, guiding listeners on a magical ride from rockabilly and surf through the British Invasion and their beloved West Texas rock ‘n’ roll a la Buddy Holly and Bobby Fuller.
The Song opens with two of their earliest co-written songs, “Right or Wrong,” and “She’s Gonna Leave,” a pair imbued with the catchiest of melodies, plaintive, danceable, and entirely memorable.
While on tour several years ago, the Sprague Brothers played their home town, Wichita Falls. The following day they stopped by Nesman Studios to cut a passel of tracks, in what turned out to be the final rock ‘n’ roll sessions at the legendary recording studios, where in 1955, Buddy Holly recorded seminal demos such as “Down the Line.” Two of those tracks are among the highlights on The Song, the rollicking rockabilly “Lucy,” and “Right Time 4 Luv,” which channeled Bobby Fuller on its Hightone version, but here, turns a page in Buddy Holly’s book.
The Sprague Brothers ought to secure a patent for songs that sound like chart toppers, and in a better world, would be. The exuberant, “Money Makes the Man,” rocks with an urgency that enthralls, and captivates with superb Everly Brothers inspired harmonies. “I Found Someone New Today” shows off one of Frank’s loveliest 12 string guitar solos and displays the brothers’ penchant for unusual and effective vocal arrangements.
Hoping for a touch of summer sun in winter? Bend your ears to a couple of dazzling surf instrumentals. Moody “Green Arrow,” beguiles and haunts, while “The ‘Haseman’” manages to fuse the crunch of early Kinks with the get up and dance surge of the Surfaris’ “Wipe Out.” It’s a tour de force, presenting Frank and Chris at their masterful best on their respective lead guitar and drums.
The Song concludes with three standout new compositions, amply demonstrating that the Sprague Brothers are at the top of their game. A true classic, “Love and Lies” smolders with intensity and shifting moods, from its lovelorn harmonies, to the intertwining twangy guitar and snaking bass, to its mesmerizing guitar solo. The catchy British Invasion style rocker, “Tears of Love” features heartfelt vocals, melodic electric guitar and deftly rolling drums. Frank and Chris send us out with a fabulous Beatlesque ballad, “All My Love’s for You.” But keep listening! The ever-generous Sprague Brothers always treat fans to an encore before holing up to write more songs. Here’s a hint: Take one part Elvis, and one part Beatles and what do you get?
The Sprague Brothers’ work has wowed reviewers in Rolling Stone, Playboy, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and many other magazines and newspapers. They have appeared on CBS nationwide television and National Public Radio, and have performed live around the world, including several successful tours of Japan. Other albums available include, The Savage Sprague Brothers and Changing the World, One Chick at a Time, on Wichita Falls Records, The Best of the EssBee CD’s on El Toro Records, and Let the Chicks fall Where they May and Forever and a Day, on Hightone Records.
Sprague fans may expect much more from the dynamic duo in coming months, with a DVD set for release in 2007, and live appearances at the Rockin’ 50’s Fest in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and other venues.