The Wilders

This article is from 2007.

The Wilders

Old time country done with finesse and fire

It seems only reasonable that a band with a lead singer called Ike Sheldon and a fiddle player called Betse Ellis should dress in sparkling white ten gallon hats, hail from Kansas City, Missouri and play honky tonk, hill billy music like they’ve just stepped down from the Appalachian mountains.
The Wilders lit up last year’s Festival with a mix of pure old-time country and sparkling repartee of the kind that only works when drawled in a thick Southern accent. Between Ellis’ mesmerising, glorious fiddle licks and the multi-instrument talents of Phil Wade, who switches between the dobro, the banjo and the mandolin, The Wilders vigorous, impeccable sense of rhythm is thrilling. There are shades of the barroom breeze of Lefty Frizzell, the mellow magnetism of early Ray Price and the swinging honky tonk of Hank Williams all wrapped up in a louche charm that’s hard to resist. (Rachel Devine)

Spiegel Garden, 667 8940, 22–28 Aug, 8pm, £12 (£10).


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