Flying J Wranglers put a cowboy spin on the holidays

The Performing Arts Series presents a different kind of Christmas show for area residents in December, the Flying J Wranglers from Ruidoso.

Gorgeous Western harmonies, fast and fun instrumentals and side-splitting humor are hallmarks of the Flying J Wrangler stage show.
The concert is Friday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Macey Center.

The Wranglers are comprised of Cindy Hobbs – National Champion Yodeler, James Hobbs – singer songwriter, and rhythm guitar. Randy Jones is a multi-instrumentalist playing lead and rhythm guitar, mandolin, banjo and sings baritone, Roy Black plays bass guitar and also sings baritone and the bass parts. Corinna Ripple plays the fiddle and sings.

“We provide a great family show with songs from the old west, the singing cowboy, mixed with comedy and cowboy humor,” said James Hobbs, who along with his yodeling wife Cindy, founded the group.

James and Cindy opened their Ranch in Ruidoso in 1982, and James estimates the Flying J Chuckwagon Supper and Western Show has served up to 660 thousand guests over the last 28 years. The Ranch features has pony rides for kids, an “old west town” with gift shops, a pistol range, gold panning, a cowboy dinner, followed by the stage show.

The stage show was added ten years ago, and with the Hobbs’ experience performing in Estes Park, Colorado for several years prior to moving to Ruidoso, their act caught on quickly and the band grew to four, and then five.

The five person group now has grown to six with the addition of Greg Meeks.

“Everyone in the group is extremely talented, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have been nominated for several western music awards,” James said. “Cindy was named national champion yodeler one year, and we were voted the 2009 Western Vocal Group of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.”

He said there is a clear distinction between country music and western music.
“Western music has to do with living in the west, whereas your standard country songs are about relationships,” James said. “Western music includes cowboy songs, songs about the land and cattle. The history and lifestyle of the west and southwest.”

The Macey Center concert is the Flying J Wrnglers’ special Christmas show, which is sure to please the Socorro audience, James said.
“It will be a mixture, so to speak. You’ll hear yodeling, your favorite cowboys songs, such as Cool Water and Yippie Ty Yi Yo, along with western Christmas songs, fun Christmas songs, and more traditional religious Christmas songs,” he said. “We cover all the best ones. Everyone will have a good time.”

James said the concert also includes hilarious skits mixed in with the music.
“We’ve had people laugh so hard their ribs hurt,” he said. “We take ‘em from laughing to sentimental goose bumps. It’s a good family show.”

The concert at Macey Center is Friday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 adult, $14 for 65 and older, and $8 for 17 and under.