Corrections or additions?

This article by Nicole Plett

was prepared for the March 20, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Planning a Riot? Call a Ranger!

One Riot One Ranger comes to Triumph Brewing Company

on Wednesday, March 27. And for one member of the Ohio-based cowboy

fivesome, it’s deja-vu all over again.

Mark Wyatt, a former indie rocker who is featured on the band’s lead

vocals, accordion, and bass, wants to know if Princeton has changed

in the 30 years since he attended high school here. (We told him

Nassau

Hall is still standing, right across the street from the Triumph

brewery.)

You can spot Wyatt at the center of the band’s group photo: he’s the

one who hasn’t had a serious haircut since 1987. The band also

features

Pete Remenyi on dobro, harmonica, and harmony vocals; band songwriter

Chas Williams, who plays fiddle, mandolin, and sings; Mark Gaskill

on guitar, vocals, and songwriting; and Paul Brown on fiddle, Dobro,

banjo, and bass.

One Riot One Ranger (or 1R1R as they’ve become known on the Net) is

on the road supporting its third CD, "Flat City Nights."

Recorded

in Nashville, the CD features 12 new tunes that span bluegrass,

country,

folk, and even rock, all performed with buoyant three and four-part

harmonies that are a Ranger trademark. "It’s cowboy, bluegrass,

and country fused into really great songs. Pure Americana!" writes

Chris Marino of Gavin Magazine.

1R1R got started in 1990 when Wyatt and folklorist Jack Shortlidge

decided to concoct a band to serve as a bridge between Wyatt’s former

music scene and the world of acoustic music. The band performed

throughout

the early ’90s and made its debut CD, "Faces Made for Radio,"

in 1996. This was credited (not very usefully) by "The Music Hound

Guide to Essential Folk Music" as "one of the most overlooked

folk records of the decade." Fortunately Nashville producer Bil

VornDick did not overlook it.

VornDick. who has produced such notables as Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson,

Alison Krauss, and Bela Fleck, stepped up to produce the Ranger’s

second CD, "Side Tracks," as well as the new recording,

"Flat

City Nights."

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he still lives, Wyatt was

attracted to the Vincentian priesthood as a teenager and came to study

at St. Joseph’s High School in Princeton. He spent four years as a

student there and went on to a Vincentian college before deciding

the priesthood was not for him. First he became a rocker and then

a Ranger.

Wyatt says the band took its name from one of the

legends

of the Texas Rangers. "During the east Texas oil boom of the

1930s,"

he explains, "when the easy money was attracting a lot of riffraff

and troublemakers, folks used to call in the Rangers whenever they

had a disturbance.

"One time they called the Rangers and only one showed up. The

townsfolk told him, `But we called for all the rangers!’

"`Well, you got one riot, you get one ranger,’ was the reply."

So that’s the story of the name. As far as the music, Wyatt says the

band is kind of hard to pigeonhole. "Singing and harmony is the

linchpin of the whole thing — four of us have been singing

together

for almost 10 years. And we have kind of a bluegrass setup, but we

swap around instruments."

Surprised to be asked about his parents’ line of work, Wyatt says

his father was a draftsman, his mother stayed at home, and there are

no Rangers at all in his family background. "Now my grandfather

was a railroad engineer — that’s about as close I come to any

of the imagery we use in our music.

"But we’re as authentic as Roy Rogers," Wyatt insists. "He

grew up as Leonard Slye in Duck Run, Ohio, down by the Ohio River,

started singing with the Sons of the Pioneers, and he turned into

a cowboy singing star — in Hollywood."

— Nicole Plett

One Riot One Ranger, Triumph Brewing, 138 Nassau

Street, 609-924-7855. Wednesday, March 27, 9:30 p.m.


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