Def.: Ranger – One who roams or ranges the countryside, especially in the American West; ie: a cowboy (or cowgirl.)
The Prairie Rose Rangers are based at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper, located on a Kansas ranch, but these talented cowboy and cowgirls consider the world their range. Though they come from diverse backgrounds, all share a love for music. Their influences range from the Sons of the Pioneers to Emmylou Harris; from Patsy Montana to Alison Krauss; from Roy Rogers to Mark Knopfler; from Bach to the Beatles.
Since 2009, the Rangers have played several major festivals, such as the PBR Festival in Pueblo CO, Michael Martin Murphey’s West Fest in Rifle CO and the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield KS. They have recorded and performed with Western Music Hall of Famers like Michael Martin Murphey, Rex Allen Jr and Johnny Western.
Orin Friesen -- Orin has performed at venues from San Francisco to Carnegie Hall and from Nashville to the Great Wall of China. He has sung and played on over 20 albums. Orin loves singing cowboy music, but loves the cowboy lifestyle even more. He has worked with cattle and horses his entire life, and still loves working the roundups. He’s a member of the Kansas Bluegrass Hall of Fame and America’s Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame. His voice has been heard on the radio in Wichita since 1964. In his spare time, Orin often lectures on various cowboy and historical subjects such as the Chisholm Trail, Texas Longhorn cattle, the Pony Express, and the history of the cowboy.
Jesse Friesen -- Growing up on a ranch, it was only natural that Jesse would have “cowboyin’” in his blood. While other kids in his school were into pop and hip-hop, Jesse was teaching himself how to play guitar by listening to the Sons of the Pioneers. Now he not only plays acoustic guitar, but he also plays banjo, resonator guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, keyboards, bass and drums. Beside producing and performing on two albums by the Rangers, Jesse has also released three solo projects.
Jenny Clayton is the fiddler in the Prairie Rose Rangers and her musical talents run deep. She grew up in a family of musicians and can also play mandolin, piano and guitar. When she’s not playing cowboy music with the Prairie Rose Rangers, Jenny can often be found performing with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Grand Opera, or her own ICTrio.
Jenny Lou Pettersen – Jenny is the newest Prairie Rose Ranger. She plays guitar and sings lead and harmony. Her on-stage energy gives a lot of drive to the band. Jenny Lou also performs with a trio called the Cherokee Maidens and prior to that fronted her own band, Jenny Lou & the Buckaroos. In 2008, she recorded a solo album and she recently did a solo performance at Nashville’s famed Bluebird Café. Jenny Lou was actually at the very first Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper in 1999. She was in grade school at the time.
Ranger Stan Greer learned to play mandolin and guitar at an early age. His parents used to tune up their instruments, put them on the bed, then tell the Greer Brothers, “We’ll be back in five or six hours; don’t touch those instruments.” By high school, Ranger Stan and his brother, Banjo Phil, were playing regular gigs on the banquet circuit in their hometown in Southern Illinois. Then the boys found a bass player, formed The Dubious Brothers, and spent five years playing at Silver Dollar City. Ranger Stan also plays in another local cowboy band, The Home Rangers, plus a couple of other bands. At age 58, Ranger Stan suddenly realized that he’d left Banjo Phil behind thirty years ago in Missouri, so he started learning to play the banjo. When the Prairie Rose was looking for a new superstar cowboy singer, they were looking for somebody who was pretty good who would play for nothing. Ranger Stan is the biggest good-for-nothing they could find.
The Rangers scored a hit when “Thank Heavens for Dale Evans,” from their debut album made it to #1 on the Western Music charts. They recently released their third album, Tales from the Trail.
Located 15 Minutes NE of Wichita, Kansas