Rollfast Ramblers
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Rollfast Ramblers

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Country Jazz


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Still working on that hot first release.



Rollfast Ramblers originated from the friendship of Wes Davis and Ben "Sparky" Sparks. The two met in 2010 on the corner of 2nd and Guadalupe in Downtown Austin, Tx, then both part of the rapidly expanding pedicab business there. They quickly developed a rapport, even joking that they are probably related, having each descended from the same family names. They both liked old time country music, and 2 years later, formed a band together with the goal of playing western swing in a new light. Though there are many western swing bands that are quite respectable, they felt there was a sincere lack of bands capturing the original feel of the music - this is a genre that leapt out of several different styles, a genre where anything goes and there is no right or wrong way to present the music. Nothing is "supposed" to happen, and any song is up for grabs. The lyrics are mutable, the arrangements are mere suggestions, and the instruments mean less than the men and women playing them - Wes and Ben had no interest in forming a museum band. Whatever they did, it had to be fun.

Wes has been singing all his life, and picked up a guitar at the age of 15. He was always told he had a golden voice, and later he was regularly called a crooner, but he never knew how to use it. He knew he was no rock singer, nor a soul singer. He never quite found his niche until Ben came to him with the idea to form a western swing band. It turned out that he'd already been marching to the syncopated beat of that drum, and he wasn't even aware.

Ben spent much of his early adulthood bouncing around the country, playing with hardcore and ska bands and living life up, but he always knew he wanted to play in a country band. He's worked as a truck driver, a cab driver, a handyman, a cook, and more, and has played bass most of his lifetime. He made it to Austin and started pedicabbing not long before Wes, and joined up with a couple of honky tonk bands and picked up all the knowledge he would need to form Rollfast Ramblers later.

With this in mind, they began learning songs and writing new material, sometimes even altering old standards to suit them, and they started searching for collaborators. After cycling through a few members, they found those collaborators. When Adam Nurre first tried out on drums, they were immediately wowed by the intuitive nature of his rhythms. His beat was swingin' hard and he seemed immediately tuned into exactly what they were doing.

Sen Bolivar came along next, with his hawaiian swing-influenced lap steel guitar. Having been entrenched in Hawaiian culture by way of his wife, he clicked straight away with the boys, smoothing out their tone with melodious licks, like the soft edge of a lake on a calm summer day, lapping gently at the shore.

Heather Rae Johnson never tried out; she sat in on a gig at a moment's notice, and it was apparent from the get-go that her enthusiasm and hot fiddle skills were exactly what the band needed, when it needed it.

With the band filled out, they began growing their fanbase, and suddenly found themselves getting shows regularly simply because their fans so liked them that they constantly recommended them to venues and event coordinators. They are working on putting together their first album now, and hope to be ready to tour with it in the fall.

Band Members