Arkamo Rangers
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Arkamo Rangers

Band Rock Bluegrass


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Arkamo Rangers"

"Their songs transport the listener to something downright Ozarkian." - Lawrence Journal-World Pulse

"The Arkamo Rangers release A New Timey Thrill"

Theres an age-old question in these parts about just where the boundaries of this place we call the Ozarks actually lie. There are a lot of answers, but generally, its stream- and lake-filled southwest Missouri and hilly northwest Arkansas.

Springfield bluegrass band the Arkamo Rangers takes its name from the regions two-state geography as if to say this is Ozarks bluegrass. The bands new album titled A New Timey Thrill, just released on local imprint MayApple Records, conveys that sense of place yet isnt anchored to single region. These tunes should appeal to any bluegrass fan.

Born in the bar scene, not the festival circuit, the Arkamo Rangers play an easy-going, fun-loving kind of bluegrass. While the sound of the new album isnt ragged by any means, it is rugged. A New Timey Thrill doesnt have the gloss of an Alison Krauss album, and there are plenty of bluegrass purists who will tell you thats a good thing.

Ol Red Mule use traditional four-part harmony and clean pickin to tell the story of a man whose lazy cuss of a mule cant get him to his favorite fishing hole (and the big, fat goggleye in it) fast enough.

Native Pines is harmony-driven tune that name checks Mark Twain not the writer, but the massive forest named for him and sings the praises of the the Ozarks natural landscape while hinting at its fragility. Im not sure how recently this song was written, but its serendipitously timed given the proposed sale of a portion of the Mark Twain National Forest by the federal government.

Theres also more universal songs about traveling, love, loss, good times and the Can Man who can be found mining for aluminum treasure in most any alley in America.

Fiddler Casey Driessen, who has played with Tim OBrien, Steve Earle and Bla Fleck, has a guest spot on three tunes. Locals Molly Healey, Grant Maledy, Matt Maydew and Mark Bilyeu also appear in supporting roles.

- The News-Leader

"Arkamo Rangers - A New Timey Thrill"

When is the last time you had a good time listening to a band? A bluegrass band? A western swing band? Or a Country band? Well you have all three wrapped up in one big BLUEGRASS band. Arkamo Rangers formed in the fall of 2002, and out of the Ozarks came a band which gives your ears just that, a real good time. Band members Chad Graves, Dobro/vocals, Dave Harp, Mandolin/ vocals, Gary Rea, Bass/vocals, Jim Rea, Guitar/vocals, and Dan Spencer Banjo/vocals united to make one unique bluegrass sound that bears witness of other genre inspirations, but not leaving the "true bluegrass" lover disappointed, it leaves them enthralled! I'm buyin' the t-shirt of this group!

Their brand new, second, release, entitled A New Timey Thrill, (not their first project so I WILL get the other one), is one hot little disc. I'd discovered the Arkamo Rangers, on Yeah, everyone's got their band on myspace, some good, some not so, but, you can really discover some hidden treasure. I discovered this trunk of jewels, with the Arkamo Rangers. Each sparkling, original, song on the new project is penned by one or more members of the band, so they are not only talented musicians, and vocalists, but they are songwriters and composers, arranging a new sound that will capture your loyalty to them.

A New Timey Thrill is a THRILL to the bluegrass soul. The band excites you with some wonderful acoustic music and vocal talents - yes, they ALL sing and they ALL play. They say the group is as much fun to watch as to listen. This is one group, that I HAVE TO see, then, because if their music is as good, "live", as it is recorded, this group will be MONSTROUS. Fourteen songs included on this project to really help you get your money's worth, but they could've stopped at eight and you'd felt that way. Each member contributing & writing the self-penned originals, which include:

1) Southern Breeze 2) Dust Bunny 3) Big Star 4) Prelude to Mule 5) Ol' Red Mule 6) Can Man (one of my favorites) 7) Big City 8) Katie Mae 9) Jack Knife 10) Another Man 11) RagTime Girl 12) Native Pines 13) Haulin Hay 14) Sweet Thing

For more information on the Arkamo Rangers visit - Music News Nashville

""A New Timey Thrill"

The Arkamo Rangers website proudly proclaims that the band's second album, "A New Timey Thrill", is now available at all live shows, and that's the best place to get it. If you can't make it to a show, fret not because you can also get it elsewhere in town and online, and it is an excellent encapsulation of the group's live sound. The five core members of the group play and sing together in a seemingly effortless harmony. The guest musicians, however, take the album that much further; the key to good evocative bluegrass is the fiddle playing, and Molly Healey (guest) especially stands out in this role in songs like "Another Man" and "Haulin Hay." The other side of the coin-the technical side- is held down by the banjo, and here Arkamo regular Dan Spencer is more than capable as well. Play this album on your porch at sunset and you'll remember why bluegrass is a true American art form, and why this is one of the best bands playing it today.

Choice Spins: "Southern Breeze", "Dust Bunny", "Big City". - GO

"Arkamo Rangers - "A New Timey Thrill""

Arkamo Rangers - "A New Timey Thrill"
Posted 06.06.06 @ 09:45 PM | Permalink | Email Article Link

Bluegrass musicians can strum the sweetest of melodies and bring forth twisting solos that subtly weave in and out of any acoustic tapestry, resulting in a truly harmonious sound...and there's nothing wrong with that. Bluegrass pickers, however, kick you in the ass with blazing lines and thumping bass riffs that have less to do with grace and more about that buzz you feel deep in your stomach. Balancing between these two ends of the bluegrass spectrum stands Springfield, Missouri's Arkamo Rangers, and they're not taking sides.

The band's most recent offering, A New Timey Thrill accurately portrays this juxtaposition of bluegrass schools -- both old and new. Opening with the fast pickin' number "Southern Breeze," the disc quickly captures the listener and leads them down a trail of acoustic beauty that most will surely want to travel again and again. Devoid of any lulls, Thrill also carefully dissects the unique bluegrass sound the Rangers have made their own and showcases their ability to navigate the frets with skill and a sense of precision that's rarely seen among their fellow youthful bluegrass peers.

From "Ol' Red Mule" to the haunting "Katie Mae," the Rangers pay tribute to the ever-present legends and lore of the genre. And, as with every bluegrass album it seems, Thrill also features a train song. Quickly departing from the often stilted norms of traditionalism, "Jack Knife" uses drums and electric guitar to "make the train talk." Featuring Mark Bilyeu (Big Smith) on electric guitar trading licks with dobro player Chad "Gravy Boat" Graves, this track offers a healthy dose of good ol' county music in the middle of a bluegrass album.

Overall, this album is a step forward for this talented quintet from the Ozarks. After playing stages from Denver to St. Louis -- and everywhere in between -- the Arkamo Rangers look to have a bright future ahead of them as both bluegrass musicians and primetime pickers.

-- Derek Martin (email)

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Arkamo Rangers-selftitled-Mayapple Records 2004
Arkamo Rangers-A New Timey Thrill-Mayapple-2006

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The Arkamo Rangers are a group of youthful pickers that provide an exceptional sound. They take Acoustic/Bluegrass music, and twist it into a new and exciting style of musical expression. Uniting in the fall of 2002, the Arkamo Rangers are comprised of bass, mandolin, guitar, and banjo. These born rockers are bringing their creativity and showmanship to bluegrass lovers of all ages. The Arkamo Rangers reflect a round perspective of music thru their love for natural acoustic instrumentation. In doing so, they create an explosive blend of original songs, defining the attitude driven bluegrass of the Ozarks. As well as their song writing, these boys are true performers. The show that Arkamo creates radiates energy not just from their music, but also from their presence on stage. They capture the ears, as well as the eyes. In a short time period, the Arkamo Rangers have been added to a Missouri based Record label, Mayapple Records, and released their first self titled CD in December 2004. The 2nd album, "A New Timey Thrill" was released in May 2006. Arkamo's continued touring efforts have brought the bands energetic live show to many mid-westen and mountain region venues. They placed 2nd at the Rockygrass band competion 2006, and have shared the stage with such names as: Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Rev. Horton Heat, John Cowen Band, David Allen Coe, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Wilders, Blue Highway, Split Lip Rayfield, Drew Emmitt, Hayseed Dixie, and many more. The bands unique sound has captured the ears of audiences abroad by live performances as well as radio waves.