Sons of Pioneers Tribute Rustles the Right Notes

The Band of Rustlers gave listeners goosebumps on September 5 at the Cock ‘n Bull Restaurant in Galway, New York with their iconic sound and perfect pitch harmonies. Singing a tribute to the Sons of the Pioneers’ songs, the trio brought alive the traditional country-western sounds of Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, and Tim Spencer.

Band of Rustlers
Photo by Jim Gilbert

Band of Rustlers features three incredible musicians: JP Biondi (Cabinet) and brothers Roy and Kevin Williams.  JP demonstrated tremendous range with his sweet tenor voice and had a fun whistle to add to the traditional cowboy songs. Roy, a frequent performer this summer at the Cock ‘n Bull, delighted with his fast-paced and technical guitar playing, as well as his fun bass range voice that he used both to sing and speak with through the archetypal western tunes. Brother Kevin Williams on bass was consistent, playful and a well-rounded third to complement the other two.

The trio joked with one another like brothers and shared a familiar ease that fit in well with their show. JP pointed out that the songs romanticized the cowboy lifestyle, and chuckled as he reflected on how challenging that lifestyle really was to live. The songs drew on nature metaphors to idealize love, friendship, and even the isolation of American cowboy culture.

JP Biondi
Photo by Jim Gilbert

As usual, the Cock ‘n Bull provided a perfect setting, providing acoustics that offered ideal circumstances for listening to such exact harmonies and precise playing. The men’s voices combined like honey and tea, melding to soothe and bring smiles around the room.

Rick Sleeper, the restaurant’s owner, took the stage to proudly introduce the band. Welcoming the audience or “buckaroos,” Sleeper maintained the western theme with the kitchen’s offering of a cowboy special. The plate included BBQ ribs, beef brisket, baked calico beans, and a lovely corn muffin spiced with jalapeno. The fun dessert stayed with the theme, offering a S’mores brownie complete with graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallow topping.

For folks unfamiliar with the Sons of the Pioneers, the music was still instantly recognizable as these songs have been a staple of American country-western music since the 1930s. For those who love the Sons’ music, this concert was a delightful and goosebump-raising event that almost perfectly replicated the quintessential and iconic sound.

The Band of Rustlers have created an experience for audiences that echoes memories in their exemplary performance. Next time they mosey through town, make sure you catch their show.