After an amazing ride through the wilds of Wyoming, we headed back to our temporary home where we relaxed and got ready for a fun-filled night spent with the Bar J Wranglers.
"Some folks call it a western music show; some call it a stand-up comedy show with masterful cowboy music; others call it the best musical experience in the west. Call it what you want to - the fact remains - The Bar J Wranglers from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, deliver some of the purest harmony, best musicianship and funniest ranch humor ever seen on stage. As soon as the Bar J Wranglers take to the stage, listeners leave behind their busy life and settle into a time long ago - a time of the singing cowboy." (as quoted from their website)
The Bar J Wranglers are made up of five super talented cowboys that really know how to bring old cowboy music to life. In the words of Babe Humphrey... "The difference between Western Music and Country Music is that in Country Music you are wondering who is kissing your wife and in Western Music you are wondering who is kissing your horse."
No matter if you love or hate country music, you will find a soft spot in your heart for these talented cowboys. You see, my hubby HATES country music. I grew up with the music and I have a great fondness for this genre of music. Out of respect for each other, I turn off my country and he turns off his rock music when we are in the same room. We do play music that we can mutually agree on so it doesn't get too quiet in our home. Some sort of music is playing almost constantly. The old cowboy music the Bar J Wranglers perform is one of the mutually agreeable music forms we choose to listen to.
I have heard them in concert several times in my home state, but nothing compares to the performance they give on their "home turf".
The experience begins with a long wait in line. You see, when you call to make a reservation, you are not given your seating assignment until that night. If you want a seat close to the stage, you will want to get in line about two hours before they even open the doors. Now you are sitting there thinking, "Why on earth would I want to sit in line for 2 hours just to hear some guys sing a song or two?" Well, the closer you are to the stage, the better the experience. You see, they not only sing an amazing song, but the facial expressions they use for their humor is what really adds to the show. The wait in line isn't all that bad either.
You have the opportunity to meet the most eclectic group of people you will ever have the privilege to rub shoulders with. We met a young couple who train pack donkeys all over the United States, a real estate executive, a few grandparents that couldn't say enough about their grandchildren, and we even met a gentleman who had been to the Philippines recently, (this made my hubby happy cuz it has been years since he served two years there).
If you don't have a particular fondness for meeting and talking to strangers - well, if this is the case, you got to reach out of your comfort zone a little more - you can opt to bring some reading material. There isn't any internet service, so your material will need to be in "hard copy" form. Speaking from experience, it is more fun to socialize than to lug a heavy book around for hours on end. Besides, you will most likely be sitting by the person you are staring at for the two hours before the doors open, so just be friendly and say "Hello" so they won't think you are a snob! Oh, there are benches put along the side of the "tunnel" so you have a place to rest your weary feet while you wait that long time.
When the doors open you have the chance to order your entree for the evening. You have your choice of Chicken or Beef (prepared 3 different ways). Now remember, this is a working cattle ranch, where they heard cattle. But because people also like the taste of chicken, they started to serve chicken as well. Rest assured, they are all real cowboys even though they have chickens too. It's just that none of the cowboys wanted to be known as "chickenboys". I personally like their chicken. Hey, what can I say, it's just sooooo goood!
Before the show you are free to explore the grounds. They have a couple of gift shops where you can purchase odds and ends as well as their music CDs (the music is very well worth the purchase even if you haven't heard them before, just get one, you won't be sorry). There is a fun train ride that takes you on a short scenic tour of the property.
While exploring, you have got to try a dutch oven biscuit! They have a "camp cook" who stands outside and cooks up batch after batch of these delicious, flaky, hot nuggets and you can enjoy one with hot butter and honey. Yummy!
Time will fly by and pretty soon you will venture into the dining hall where they will serve no less than 600 people that night! We had purchased a couple of decks of cards and made "friends" with our neighbors across the table and played a rousing game of Nine Square (this game has many different names: Neighbor Game, Golf, 9 Square...). The people that we played with ended up being the most interesting people ever!
It was a gentleman and his wife and his sister. They were from Arizona and had been on a very long vacation. It turns out that they were going to be on vacation for 3 long months touring the western US while driving their RV. He was very sociable and easygoing. I found it a pleasure to talk with him and get to know him a bit better. He was very quick for a smile and made you laugh at the little things. The thing I loved most about him was his love for the US. He told us about some of the experiences he had while serving in the military. If ever I go to Arizona, I will definitely look this guy up!
Pretty soon you will be stuffing your face with a hot meal that is basically what they would serve on an old time cattle drive. They serve over 600 people in about 20 minutes! It is an amazing feat! And they do this 7 nights a week for 4 months a year every summer! (I sometimes have trouble feeding 5 people 7 nights a week!)
After your belly is full, you are treated to the best old time cowboy music you have ever heard. They do traditional trail songs, patriotic song, and they even share a bit of their beliefs with you through song. They love to laugh! They do tend to pick on each other a bit, but it is never in meanness and you will find yourself holding your sides because they hurt so bad from laughing so much! You become so wrapped up in the show that you are almost shocked when the time comes to an end and you look at the clock and realize that you have spent over two hours laughing and listening!
This was a definite highlight of our trip! It was my hubby's and my third time to visit them at their ranch, and I know it won't be our last. We got all their autographs and visited with each Wrangler after the show. They are amazing people in person as well as on stage. We were even able to meet and visit with Babe Humphrey who told us all about how he met his beautiful bride so many years ago.
So to all you who want a great night out, and want a taste of what the "old west" was like, take a stroll over to the Bar J Wranglers. The wait is worth it!
To Be Continued....