"Tumbleweed Rob" Wolfskill of the Tumbling Tumbleweeds
As their name suggests, The Tumbling Tumbleweeds pay homage to The Sons of the Pioneers whom they consider to be the “masters of cowboy music.” "As vocalists we find their music and harmonies totally irresistible and as Westerners we find their songs a romantic tribute to the West that was." The Tumbling Tumbleweeds have been together since 2005 and have been wetting their feet (or boots) with performances in and around Southern California with hopes of turning a "sideline profession" into a full time profession and thankfully, every year gets busier than the one before.
"The Tumbling Tumbleweeds" was founded by Director, Rob Wolfskill who states, "I have been a fan of the Sons of the Pioneers since I was a child when my parents used to play their recordings and show us old cowboy movies and it has been a dream of mine for many years to bring their music to life in as meaningful a way as possible. It wasn’t until after performing in the theater world that I was able to meet the kind of singer/performers who had the range necessary to really do justice to the spirit of these songs. I found that of course in Cade Parenti and Chris Acuff who are not only brilliant singers but great actors and storytellers as well." Rob adds, “We’re all actors and we’ve played our fair share of wacky roles as working actors in Los Angeles have to do but, it is our love of music, harmony and the American West that keeps our hearts in Western Music.”
The addition of Guitarist, R.J. Mills was the sort of thing that only providence could deliver. It was in a local coffee house that Rob found R.J. strumming along to himself. Rob adds, "When I explained the premise of the group to R.J. he was very enthusiastic about joining us explaining that his own mother was from Texas and that he had grown up with cowboy music his entire life!"
Each of the Tumbleweeds has his roots leading back to the West as well as to its folk music. Robert's family being from New Mexico and Arizona, Cade’s family from the Dakotas and Chris being from Tennessee is also a descendant of the late great Roy Acuff.
"It is our belief that it is the “story” within each western song that makes it so uniquely western and gives it a life of its own. The cowboy era was an era of legend and folklore and it is that element of story that we Tumbleweeds wish to honor, as well as the integrity of the richly harmonious musical legacy of the Sons of the Pioneers themselves. Their sound transports us to a time and place that was so much more innocent and peaceful than that of our world today and it is that sound that drew us to their music and that which we also wish to carry on."
On a more informal basis, I can tell you that the one very strong thread that weaves us Tumbleweeds together is our love and respect for the tradition of Western Music and our deep desire to do our part to make sure it does not fade away into the oblivion of pop culture. We also really enjoy performing together!
As for Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, they are simply the standard to which we, having been trained in the theater, hold ourselves to. They had it all, vocal expertise, musicality, arrangements, showmanship. What more could you ask for?
For me personally, I look to Bob Nolan in the same way an eager student looks to his teacher for instruction. He was a master songwriter and his love of the West and of our Country is an incredible inspiration to me. Musically, that fusion of Jazz and Western music was something that could have only taken place at that time in our American history and thankfully, it was in the hands of Messrs. Nolan and Spencer who coined a genre so unique that it still inspires us today.
You ask "Why Western Music? For me it is because I
was born here in the West and since childhood I've heard many stories
about my ancestors from across the Southwest. My Great Great
Grandfather ran a saloon in the 1800's after marrying an Apache woman
and settling down to raise a family in a small mining town in New
Mexico. I've heard stories of how the Chiricahua Apaches would raid the
town and how my Grandmother had to chase an Apache on horseback who had
snatched one of my Uncles to take him back to the Apache camp because he
was half Apache and they were sworn to retrieve all Apache children.
I've even heard stories of my Uncles who played with Billy the Kid while
he was in my Grandfather's care in Southern New Mexico. With that kind
of ancestral legacy it's easy to see how deep my connection to the West
can be and the music of Bob Nolan and The Sons of the Pioneers just
seems to encapsulate all of the nostalgia and excitement of it for me.
Chris Acuff, Cade Parenti,. R J Mills and Rob Wolfskill
August 12, 2008
Howdy Saddle Pals!
It's been a while since you heard from us but we have lots of great news to share with you.
First of all, we have been nominated for the 2008 Western Music Association Best Traditional Western Duo/Group Award and the 2008 Western Music Association Crescendo (Most Promising Talent) Award! We will be traveling to New Mexico in November for the WMA Music Festival where the awards will be announced!
We have also been nominated for the 2008 Academy of Western Artists Western Music Duo/Group of the Year Award and will be flying to Texas for the awards ceremony in September!
Our debut CD has been receiving critical acclaim and is in the Top 10 Western Music Charts all over the World!
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The Timber Trail is #1 on the radio in the State of Georgia!
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Blue Shadows on the Trail is #1 on the radio in Sweden!
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Our album is #2 on Marvin O'Dell's Top 10 list for his radio show called "Around the Campfire!"
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Rob, Cade, Chris & R.J.
THE TUMBLING TUMBLEWEEDS
Across the West”, the new album from The Tumbling Tumbleweeds,
is now out and available for purchase all around the globe!
“Blaze Across the West”, the new album from The Tumbling Tumbleweeds, is now out and available for purchase all around the globe!