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Flying J Wranglers Bring Cowboy Christmas To Macey Center

SOCORRO, N.M. December 1, 2011 – Yee-haw! Get ready for the Flying J Wranglers, a troupe of five outstanding musicians and vocalists known for their rich, western-styled harmonies, instrumentals and down-home humor, headed to Macey Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.

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The Flying J Wranglers will perform at Macey Center on December 9.

The spirited five-some will perform authentic western music in the final Performing Arts Series (PAS) concert of the calendar year.

“I know Socorro County has a lot of country-western music fans who will greatly enjoy this concert, but because the Wranglers put on a first-class show, their performance will appeal to anyone who loves good music,” PAS Director Ronna Kalish said.

Rhythm guitarist James Hobbs, whose grandfather founded the New Mexico city of Hobbs, is an accomplished singer and songwriter whose ballad, “Song of New Mexico,” twice has been nominated by state legislators to be the official state song.

James’s wife, Cindy, a native Tennessean and lead vocalist, was named the Western-Style Female National Yodeling champion, and twice has been nominated as Best Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.

The Wranglers, in fact, were named the Outstanding Western Vocal Group for 2009 by the same prestigious academy.

Multi-instrumentalist Randy Jones is a veritable virtuoso on guitar, mandolin, banjo and dobro. Many in the Ruidoso area may remember Jones as a strong vocal performer for his 15 years with the “Moon Pie Dance Band” of El Paso, a regional favorite.

Newest Wrangler is the petite Corinna Ripple, who joined the band as vocalist and outstanding fiddle player. She is a recent graduate of Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where she was named the Prestigious Female Entertainer of the Year for 2007-2008.

Master of Ceremonies is acoustic bass guitarist and vocalist Roy Black, an actual working cowboy in his off-time, raising horses on his ranch north of Capitan in Lincoln County.

Black previously performed with the Timberline Band in New Mexico, and has entertained audiences at a number of venues, including America’s Music Theater in Phoenix, and the Maxim Hotel, Aladdin Hotels and Sam’s Town, all in Las Vegas.

“Frankly, I don’t know any real-life, working cowboy or western musician who doesn’t have a teasing sense of humor, another testament to the authenticity of the Flying J Wranglers,” Kalish said.

The group has showcased its talents to over 700,000 visitors at their very own Flying J Ranch in Alto, N.M., over the past 30 summer seasons. Their Christmas show, first staged in 2001, has toured to more than a dozen western cities.

“We are just delighted that the Wranglers will deliver an early Christmas show here in Socorro,” said Kalish. “This would be a great time to saddle up in your finest western wear and enjoy a group that knows western music from its roots, and delivers a spectacular and spirited show!”

The Flying J Wranglers have one DVD and seven CD recordings available, including their newest release, My Adobe Hacienda.

Show sponsors are First State Bank of Socorro, Associated Universities Inc. (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Don and Rosie Tripp and the Howard Johnson motel in Socorro.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for senior citizens 65 and over, and $8 for youths 17 and under, and are available by calling 575-835-5688; at the following Socorro locations: Tech Cashier’s Office, Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Burrito Tyme Drive-up or at the door.

– NMT –

By Valerie Kimble/New Mexico Tech