Bands and Notes

Hollywood Rodeo Band

1976 - 1999

 

The Hollywood Rodeo Band (HRB) was a popular regional Honky-Tonk dance band based out of Denver, Colorado.    Founding members were EP Davis, Clarke Wright, Hagan Day and Ernie Martinez.   G. Fred Swanson was the next to join the group in 1977 and Ernie went on to pursue other opportunities.  Through the years the core of the Band would remain EP, Clarke and Fred.  Other Musicians who worked with the group were, Matt Clayton, Rich Moore, Matt Pulizzi, David Rodriguez, Jim Grigg and Mark Rosenberg.  J.R. Rozack spent some time as manager, Billy Day briefly was sound engineer and Steve Crabb often worked security and record sales.


The HRB featured original songs, mostly written by Clayton and Swanson, as well as many covers of classic Country and Rock-a-Billy dance tunes.  


HRB was originally named Silverball for a brief period in the late 70s, but soon rebranded as Hollywood Rodeo Band after a short hiatus.


Often featured on radio stations KBRQ, KLZ and KLAK as well as many TV appearances the HRB had a strong Colorado and regional following. The band recorded extensively during the 80s, mostly ‘studio live’ as engineer Kevin Clock mixed the songs directly to stereo without overdubs or ‘fixes’.


In 1986 they were voted one of the top ten country bands in the United States by Willie Nelson and the Wrangler Country Music invitational at Willie Nelson’s nightclub in Austin, TX, as well as voted best Denver Country Band by Westward Magazine. They were the ‘go-to back-up band for many visiting Nashville artists including Johnny Rodriguez, David Frizzell, Ferlin Husky, Johnny Wright & Peggy Sue, Johnny Paycheck, as well as opening for many other national touring acts.


The Hollywood Rodeo Band was house band at the famed Four Seasons night club in Aurora, CO, until it was destroyed by fire on April 1, 1986.


After 1989 they toured extensively for the USO/DOD in over 60 countries and were awarded the Civilian Service Medal by The Department of Defense for service during Desert Storm.


HRB recordings:
Mexico/Togary Mountain   45 rpm single  1981
I Haven’t Learned a Thing   LP record  1983
On the Western Trail   Cassette Tape  1986
Saddle Up!   Cassette Tape  1986
Fading Romance   Cassette Tape  1987
Fading Romance/Like the First Time   45 rpm single  1987
Born Ready   Cassette Tape  1987
Lookin’ At the World   Cassette Tape  (Compilation)  1990
and

Cowboy-Bluegrass Honky-Tonk Dancehall Music   CD  Compilation)  2014
 

In the late 1990s EP, Clarke and G. Fred returned to their roots, discarding the drums and electric instruments to form the trio “High, Wide and Handsome”.

 

 

Hollywood Rodeo Band

1977 - 1996

 

The Hollywood Rodeo Band (HRB) was a popular regional Honky-Tonk dance band based out of Denver, Colorado.    Founding members were EP Davis, Clarke Wright, Hagan Day and Ernie Martinez.   G. Fred Swanson was the next to join the group in 1977 and Ernie went on to pursue other opportunities.  Through the years the core of the Band would remain EP, Clarke and Fred.  Other Musicians who worked with the group were, Matt Clayton, Rich Moore, Matt Pulizzi, David Rodriguez, Jim Grigg and Mark Rosenberg.  J.R. Rozack spent some time as manager, Billy Day briefly was sound engineer and Steve Crabb often worked security and record sales.


The HRB featured original songs, mostly written by Clayton and Swanson, as well as many covers of classic Country and Rock-a-Billy dance tunes.  


HRB was originally named Silverball for a brief period in the late 70s, but soon rebranded as Hollywood Rodeo Band after a short hiatus.

Often featured on radio stations KBRQ, KLZ and KLAK as well as TV appearances, the HRB had a strong Colorado and regional following.  The band recorded extensively during the 80s, mostly 'studio live' as engineer Kevin Clock mixed the songs directly to stereo without overdubs or 'fixes'.


In 1986 they were voted one of the top ten country bands in the United States by Willie Nelson and the Wrangler Country Music invitational at Willie Nelson’s nightclub in Austin, TX, as well as voted best Denver Country Band by Westward Magazine. They were the ‘go-to back-up band for many visiting Nashville artists including Johnny Rodriguez, David Frizzell, Ferlin Husky, Johnny Wright & Peggy Sue, Johnny Paycheck, as well as opening for many other national touring acts.


The Hollywood Rodeo Band was house band at the famed Four Seasons night club in Aurora, CO, until it was destroyed by fire on April 1, 1986.


After 1989 they toured extensively for the USO/DOD in over 60 countries and were awarded the Civilian Service Medal by The Department of Defense for service during Desert Storm.


HRB recordings:
Mexico/Togary Mountain   45 rpm single  1981
I Haven’t Learned a Thing   LP record  1983
On the Western Trail   Cassette Tape  1986
Saddle Up!   Cassette Tape  1986
Fading Romance   Cassette Tape  1987
Fading Romance/Like the First Time   45 rpm single  1987
Born Ready   Cassette Tape  1987
Lookin’ At the World   Cassette Tape  (Compilation)  1990
and

Cowboy-Bluegrass Honky-Tonk Dancehall Music   CD  Compilation)  2014
 

In the late 1990s EP, Clarke and G. Fred returned to their roots, discarding the drums and electric instruments to form the trio “High, Wide and Handsome”.

 

 

Video's

The Beaumont Shuffle
 

Reuben's Train
 

Pass the Biscuits
 

Lusty Glaze
 

Long Dark Night
 

Dreamer's Lullaby
 

Veeda Vous
 

Knots In the Devil's Tail

 

 

All videos courtesy of d4i Production Studio

Fort Collins, CO

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Silverball Country Band

    Silverball had it’s beginnings in the basement of David Ferretta’s music store.  In the middle 70s the Bluegrass scene in Colorado waned and saw the closing of The Global Village, The Denver Folklore Center (later to reopen in the 90s) and eventually even Ferretta Music Service.  

    David took to playing poker professionally and EP and Clarke took advantage of the rising popularity of country music in Colorado.  EP took up the steel guitar and Clarke the fiddle.  They joined with Ernie Martinez, G. Fred Swanson, Hagan Day on drums with sound-man Billy Day to form Silverball, which would later become The Hollywood Rodeo Band.   Silverball worked the nightclubs in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, and New Mexico.

High, Wide and Handsome

1996 - 2012

High, Wide and Handsome (HWH) featured Clarke Wright, EP Davis and G. Fred Swanson.  HWH performed an entertaining mixture of Bluegrass, Classic Country, Cowboy Songs and classic favorites, with a generous portion of spontaneous humor.  Using guitars, fiddles, mandolin, dobro and bass, they were able to show off their versatility.  Sometimes it was confusing to tell who was playing what!


HWH continued to tour for the USO/DOD overseas and recorded 3 CDs.   They performed at festivals (including Rockygrass) and music venues throughout the west and were featured on the QVC shopping network.  With Bosco, the Boy Cow, a cute, singing, wise-cracking hand puppet, they also did children’s performances at military bases in the US and concert halls.


After G. Fred Swanson’s death in 2009, multi-talented Ron Lynam, from ‘Front Range’ fame, stepped in to help fill the band’s remaining commitments.  HWH continued for several more years with the Lynam, Wright, Davis configuration.


HWH’s third CD was in progress when G. Fred sadly took his own life.  The recordings sat idle for 15 years before EP and Clarke finally were able to put the finishing touches on ‘Last Roundup’, the band’s final CD and most popular recording.  


Shortly after Last Roundup’ was released, EP Davis passed away after a long battle with cancer.


High, Wide and Handsome Recordings:
High, Wide and Handsome   CD   1998
Dreamer’s Lullaby   CD   2000
Last Roundup   CD   2019

 

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Recordings

 

 

High, Wide and Handsome (1998)

Great classic country and bluegrass. Recorded by Charles Sawtelle at Rancho DeVille.  Special guests: Ernie Martinez on Steel, Jo Gable on Accordion and Mollie O’Brien, courtesy of Sugar Hill Records.

 

One Dozen Roses

My Hillbilly Gal

Soldiers Joy

Doggone Cowboy

Cowbell Polka

Western Sky

Will You Be Loving Another Man?

Coridino

Down The Trail To San Antoine

Jerusalem Ridge

Lights of Old Santa Fe

Thunder and Lightning

 

Clarke Wright: Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Bass Fiddle

G. Fred Swanson; Vocals, Bass Fiddle, Guitar

EP Davis: Guitar, Banjo, Dobro

 

CDs may still be available. Check EP’s website or CDBABY.com.

Dreamer’s Lullaby (2001)

Mostly original tunes written by G. Fred Swanson.  Great Steel Guitar by Ernie Martinez. Dreamy and mellow

 

I’ll Love You Till The End Of Time

Here I Am, There I Go

Dreamer’s Lullaby

Vedauwoo

Only You Can Make Love Stay

Little Red Wagon

Calling Me Back Home

Never Sunshine, Always Rain

I Want To Be With You

Sagebrush

Dreamer’s Farewell

 

 

Clarke Wright: Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Bass Fiddle

G. Fred Swanson; Vocals, Bass Fiddle, Guitar

EP Davis: Guitar, Banjo, Dobro

Produced & arranged by High, Wide and Handsome for HRB Entertainment

Recorded & mixed by Charles Sawtelle Rancho De Ville, Boulder, Colorado

Mastered by David Glasser Airshow Inc., Boulder, CO (formerly of Springfield, VA)

Eric P. David 1953 - 2019

In October 2019, our dear friend and saddle pal, EP Davis passed away.  We are all heartbroken. 

G. Fred 1952 - 2009

 

In December 2009 our dear friend and saddle pal

G. Fred Swanson passed away.

He is surely missed by his family and friends.  Farewell saddle pal.

We are proud to announce the release of the Hollywood Rodeo Band CD

Cowboy-Bluegrass Honky-tonk Dancehall Music

This recording is the best of four albums that were recorded in the 1980s and has been remastered by David Glasser at Airshow in Boulder Colorado

Now Available Through iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon