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Tex Thomas and His Danglin' Wranglers

Tex Thomas and His Danglin' Wranglers. Nobody but Tex and his original band really understand the meaning. Truly, it is a mystery that fits true to form with the band itself.

Originally from the cotton fields of West Texas, Harvey (a.k.a. Tex) had music in his blood. Son to one of the greatest steel guitarists of the time, Harvey started out as a teen gracing the stages of school dances and parties. Although at this time he might be found playing cover songs like "Louie Louie," he soon came into his own as one of the greatest Texas lyricists of our time.

The conception of the Danglin' Wranglers in the 80's brought together a band of musicians that can inspire, can make you laugh, and even make you cry. The power of Tex's lyrics has never been denied. The talent behind Danny's fingers, whether floating the ivory keys of his piano, or sliding along the strings of his violin, is a talent few possess. Jon Blondell's soul in his music is best heard through his trombone. And Frosty is as skilled and passionate a drummer as they come. Through the years there have been others, such as Tomas Ramirez, a saxophonist that can hold the sweetest notes for minutes at a time due to his incredibly uncommon ability to round breath.

For 10 years Tex Thomas and his Danglin' Wranglers entertained at Huts Hamburgers in Austin, TX every Sunday night. Also gracing the stages of many other of the hottest venues in Austin, it was always a party. The gigs at Huts would be shoulder to shoulder, but fans still found the room to dance to the spirited beat.

True to Texas form, Harvey's music has never been fit to categorize. His songs range from ballad to soul, from country to jazz. Like his music, his fans have always been comprised of every walk of life. The parties were wild and often-times limos carrying Hollywood stars would line the streets outside Huts.

The 10 year anniversary of gigs at Huts brought with it the end of an era. Many of the band members now had children of their own and the 10-2am gigs were no longer conducive to their ever-changing lifestyles. As true musicians go, however, the music never stopped. Through the years they continued to play gigs from time to time while building lives for their families.

Together, Tex Thomas and His Danglin' Wranglers recorded two albums, "Dare to Dangle" and "Screamin' in the Night." Then, in 1995 Harvey had the opportunity to record a third album with Mapleshade Records, "Highways of Gold." Because the third album was not recorded with the original band, it is audibly different, but still evokes the same excitement that the Danglin' Wranglers originated.

Harvey went on to build a house in the country and a loving home for his wife and daughter, and became quite a good woods craftsman. His partner Danny,went on to start Tequila Mockingbird a very successful recording studio in Austin. Jon and Frosty kept on playing, and Tomas can still be heard along the beaches of South Padre Island.

Now that their children are grown and having babies of their own, the band is back to playing regular gigs. Now at Gueros on S. Congress the first Sunday of every month, the band is as strong as ever. There are still fans that attend who have been listening for 20 years.

If caught on the dance floor you'll have the opportunity to waltz, two-step, tango, salsa, swing and jive. Still, as always, you never know what you'll hear. No two songs sound alike, but all songs evoke something akin to an emotional epiphany, and sometimes a spiritual one.

A patriot of his country and his heritage, a messiah with a microphone, a 1960's hippie ready to up the revolution, a family man, a believer in God, a partier, a rock star...Tex comes in many forms. For him, however, one thing has never changed. It has always been about the music, about the ability to touch hearts and change minds, to invoke thought and feeling, to instill passion and hope, understanding and acceptance. It is this that keeps him coming back every year.

With Tex' soul in his music and his spirit on his lips, seeing the Danglin'Wranglers is an experience you won't soon forget. And, when they're in their zone, you can't turn away. In the words of Harvey's wife Patti, "There is a difference between riding the wave and hangin' ten, and when these guys are hangin ten, you don't want to miss it."

~Erin Boydstun