The Men Behind Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee
Durango's most iconic singing cowboys are taking to the stage on Thursday, December 14, for an evening of traditional Christmas music ruffled up with a bit of Western flair. The Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee combines cowboy poetry, guitar-pickin' songs of the old West and knee-slappin' humor with classic tunes that'll keep your feet tappin' and a smile on your face.
Like many young boys in the 1940s and 1950s, Cy Scarborough was inspired by Roy Rogers. The Arkansas-raised youngster would watch the affable Roy and his pony, Trigger, and daydream about growing up to become a singing cowboy. He moved to Colorado to start his career and eventually ended up in Durango, where he founded the Bar D Wranglers in 1969.
Nearly 50 years later, the group has performed for over 2.5 million guests at the Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers. They're still going strong, though members have changed a few times. These days, Gary Cook sings tenor and brings his skills as a two-time national flat pick champion guitar player. Cook grew up in Fort Collins in a family of talented musicians so started singing and performing when he was four. He's been with the Wranglers since 1989.
Fiddle-player, Matt Palmer, was also raised in a musical family. He joined the group in 2000 and sings baritone, while Joel Racheff just "sings funny" and plays the upright bass (Racheff also like Jello, long naps and babbling like old men do). The final member and lead singer of the group, Richard Espinoza, joined in 2011. Espinoza is blessed with a big Western singing voice, reminding folks of Marty Robbins.
The Christmas Jubilee starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Concert Hall. Tickets are $15-$28 and can be purchased by clicking here. Whether you're looking to hear Ragtime Cowboy Joe or just want to listen to the simple melodies of Silent Night, come prepared for an endearing time to share with family as the Bar D Wranglers remind listeners of the real reason for the season.