ACOUSTIC MUSICIANS & SONGWRITERS
Based in Buffalo, WY
Founded in 2015
Genre: #Bluegrass #Folk
Label: Turnberry Records
Prairie Wildfire is a trio of talented musicians hailing from a prairie town in Wyoming. Their music is a fusion of folk, bluegrass, classic country, and Wyoming-style western, featuring Sage on mandolin, Tessa on banjo and Morgan on upright bass. The band is known for their tight harmonies, sophisticated instrumentation, and explosive energy on stage. With Sage's rich ballads and occasional yodels, Tessa's gritty voice and love for old-time cowboy music, and Morgan's crystal clear tone influenced by jazz and bluegrass, Prairie Wildfire delivers a unique yet nostalgic sound that will take you back to better times and tunes. Whether they are alternating lead singers or ripping through melodies and rhythms with practiced ease, Prairie Wildfire is a force to be reckoned with and a band you don't want to miss.
Turnberry Records, Keith Barnacastle |
12168 Turnberry Dr, Rancho Mirage, Ca. 92270 |
Karen Blaney | 307-217-0931 |
Booking & PR:
Karen Blaney | 307-217-0931 |
ALAN CACKETT REVIEW
As I played this self-titled album by Prairie Wildfire—an all-female trio from Wyoming, comprising Morgan Blaney (upright bass), Sage Palser (mandolin) and Tessa Taylor (banjo, rhythm guitar)—I got the same warm glowing feeling that I can so vividly recall as I first listened to crucial, groundbreaking albums by Reba McEntire (MY KIND OF COUNTRY), the Judds (WYNONNA & NAOMI) and the McCarters (THE GIFT). A spirited, beguiling set that tips its hat to roots music interpreters as disparate as the Quebe Sisters, the Coon Creek Girls, the Trio, Buffalo Gals and the Cox Family, while also tapping into bluegrass music, these talented young ladies arrive with beautiful immediacy, like a small pocket of warmth in an otherwise somewhat grey world. Though referred to as a folk trio, Prairie Wildfire are in reality a country outfit, in the way that country music used to be. The vocal chemistry between the threesome dominates as they all take turns singing lead and focus on their harmonic blend with Morgan providing high harmonies, Sage the middle and Tessa the low harmonies. With their hard-to-pin sound, the trio revels in their own style of trad-leaning country, that reflects the meeting point of Wyoming’s endless vistas with Appalachia’s deepest roots. Where other young outfits can be self-indulgent or theatrical, Prairie Wildfire remains enticing, infectious and natural. In addition to their distinctive vocal skills, the three girls prove to be talented and formidable instrumentalists. Augmented by various guest musicians on Dobro, pedal steel, keyboards and fiddle they create full and inventive musical arrangements. As well as their original material, they add some well-chosen covers. There’s something to be said for the ability to recognise a great song. However, it’s equally important to know how that particular tune can be adapted and reconfigured to fit one’s own template. After all, the challenge comes with trying to cover a song in a way that maintains its singular sound and that emulates rather than imitates its original rendition. These young ladies recognise the value in treading the line between originality and redundancy and do so in a way that does justice to both their own abilities and the songs’ essential elements. With their versions of Delbert McClinton’s Two More Bottles Of Wine and Chris LeDoux’s Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy they manage to tread that narrow divide and do so in a way that makes the material their very own. The pleasure the trio find conveying their joy in providing the sounds that they share is all over the latter. Cheeky and sweet, yet with the denim roughness of a western honky-tonk bar that buzzes with energy. In short, they have the arrangements and meat and potatoes pocket locked down tight. McClinton’s drinking song, best-known via Emmylou Harris and Martina McBride’s versions, is done up in a stringband swing style. A driving, fiddle-guided, kiss-off number, that finds the singer getting out all her sorrows over a departed lover in one night, is totally owned by the girls. As a result, their original material—Heart You Couldn’t Hold, What Crosses Your Mind and West Virginia Train—finds an ideal mesh with those songs that qualify as well-worn covers. So too, their rousing version of the traditional standard, Bowling Green, it sums up that skillset succinctly. Effervescent and pastoral, with honey-hued vocals blooming through the joyful lyrics with flailing banjo, fast-picked mandolin and sawing fiddle behind those exquisite harmonies. The one song that probably sums up the aims and aspirations of this trio is the captivating In the Wings, a plaintive tale of a would-be music star. Highlighting the complex beauty of three singers joining forces seamlessly, bringing a sense of awe and wonder to what could easily turn into a crowded space. Most importantly, however, the whole song still feels readily significant; a subtle but wonderful taster of a suitably special record, demonstrating what a bright future these talented young vocalists-musicians-songwriters have in the world of acoustic country music.
UPRIGHT BASS, VOCALS
Prairie Wildfire's oldest member, Morgan Blaney, picked up the upright bass at a local summer camp when she was 10 years old and promptly declared that she had "found her thing"--and she had. After a few weeks of lessons, she began playing bass at a local jam, and has never looked back. She has been with Prairie Wildfire since its inception in 2015 when a band of middle school girls performed for the first time at a local Stars of Tomorrow contest. A three-time all state high school jazz bassist, Morgan pursued both jazz and bluegrass music performance at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She graduates in 2023 as its first double major in bluegrass and jazz. She plans to pursue a career of musical performance.
Sage Palser plays the mandolin and showcases her rich vocal range with ballads, classic country sounds, and the occasional yodel. Along with her passion for music, Sage enjoys swing dancing and spending time in the mountains. She has been singing and playing music since she was a child, with a rich and intense vocal style that complements the group's harmonies. Outside of music, Sage enjoys swing dancing and spending time in the mountains. She is currently pursuing a college education in Bluegrass Old Time and Roots Music Studies at East Tennessee State with a concentration of Audio Production & Engineering.
CLAWHAMMER BANJO, VOCALS
With a high-energy and fun approach to frailing the banjo, Tessa also sings with a gritty and emotional style that reflects the traditions of old-time and cowboy music. In addition to her musical pursuits, Tessa enjoys ranching, hiking, and finding old-time jams to join wherever she goes.
"I have been playing music alongside these young ladies since they were pre-teens. I am honored to have produced this project. I can't wait for you to hear the powerful lead vocals and sweet harmonies of Prairie Wildfire."
- David Stewart, Producer, Friend, & Mentor