If they could, the Sprague Brothers would change the world, one song at a time. From their earliest released recordings in 1990 through their highly acclaimed Hightone CD’s and their recent releases on Wichita Falls Records, the Sprague Brothers have forged a clear and steady path, as leader Frank Lee Sprague says, “Influenced by none, inspired by many.” With their roots in hometown Wichita Falls, Texas, the Sprague Brothers travel the musical map, fusing their love for the music of fellow Texans Buddy Holly and Bobby Fuller with a touch of surf here and a touch of Merseybeat there, all blended into a superb and remarkable brand of rock ‘n’ roll uniquely Sprague.
On Changing the World, One Chick at a Time, Wichita Falls Records presents every facet of Frank and Chris Sprague’s artistry, from Sun Records-style rockabilly, to Everly Brothers-style ballads, to dazzling instrumentals and a dollop of Texas swing. Along the way, listeners experience the stunning musicianship of guitarist extraordinaire, Frank Lee Sprague, who plays every note on a variety of guitars, as well as featured drumming and harmony singing, by Chris Sprague.
The album leads off with the witty story-song, “Rockabilly Twist,” a countrified rocker which will prove popular on the dance floor. Listen for Chris Sprague quoting “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” as the song fades.
Brother acts are famous for their close harmonies. The Sprague Brothers are long-time fans of the fabulous Everly Brothers. On the haunting, “I’ve Got It Made,” Frank Sprague sings with Don Everly’s son, Edan. The song features a rich acoustic backing and beautiful interweaving vocals.
“I Want to Be Her Man,” with its classic, lean sound and intimate, heartfelt lead vocal by Frank, is the sort of timeless song that could be a hit in any era.
“I’m Setting Jake” (a saying from Wichita Falls) and “You’re Scarce” (a phrase used by Elvis Presley in the film, Blue Hawaii) sets you right down at the Sun studios with Sam Phillips at the helm. This is rockabilly at its purest and most authentic, second nature to the gifted Sprague Brothers.
“Wormwood” is an example of what the Sprague Brothers do best, creating a model recording that in a just world would be an international smash hit. Amazingly catchy, sung with raw power, the song has the drive and feel of Bobby Fuller at his rockingest. Special guest Randy Fuller plays bass guitar on the track and provides background vocals as well.
Other standout tracks include the ballad, “No One Cares,” with a tender vocal by Frank and featuring unusual use of backing and harmony vocals which build in power and intensity that brings ‘brothers harmony’ into the third millennium. An intimate number, “Little Star,” has the quiet passion of one of Buddy Holly’s ballads and includes a special string arrangement by Frank. The romantic, “Keep on Loving Me,” pulls at the heart and demonstrates just how wonderfully Frank and Chris sing together. It’s an Everly-style number with a Latin beat.
No Sprague Brothers album is complete without a bevy of bonus tracks, and Changing the World proves no exception. The best cover versions surpass the original hands down, and with “American Music,” the Sprague Brothers do just that, adding tribute “signature” riffs from Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Ventures and Buddy Holly, and in a clever nod to the universality of rock ‘n’ roll, including a harmonica solo straight out of the Beatles via fellow Texan, Delbert McClinton.
The Sprague Brothers’ work has wowed reviewers in Rolling Stone, Playboy, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and many other magazines and newspapers. They have appeared on CBS nationwide television and National Public Radio, and have performed live around the world, including several successful tours of Japan. Other albums available include, The Savage Sprague Brothers on Wichita Falls Records, The Best of the EssBee CD’s on El Toro/Wichita Falls Records, and Let the Chicks fall Where they May and Forever and a Day, on Hightone Records. This new LP is another great addition to the Sprague Bros library, so join them as they change the world, one chick at a time.