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Ivo & the Wave Wranglers are a Boston-based power trio that performs modern Balkan-inspired surf rock, spaghetti western, and spy music. Consisting of Tev Stevig (Jeni Jol, Klezwoods, Orchestrotica, Orkestra Marhaba, Hickory Strings) on electric guitars, Greg Loughman (Lowman, Klezwoods, Rhythm Future Quartet, Sonic Explorers) on bass, and the legendary Grant Smith (Klezmer Conservatory Band, Klezwoods) on drums, I&WW seeks to blend the dance rhythms and instrumental virtuosity of Balkan music with modern western harmonies and 60's surf guitar twang. Existing equally in all of these worlds, the music developed out of an online conversation Tev had with Ivan Pongracic, leader of the surf rock group The Madeira and a fantastic guitarist and songwriter. Tev asked Ivan why he thought surf rock drew so much inspiration from the music of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Ivan, a well known surf rock-o-phile, answered that the single largest contributor to the surf rock style from the '60's to today is Dick Dale, whose father was Lebanese and whose mother was Polish. Dale grew up in Massachusetts hearing many tunes from the Middle East and Eastern Europe played on the oud and later translated these sounds to the electric guitar for his signature surf rock sound. Ivan also mentioned the highly influential Australian band, the Atlantics, who have members of Greek and Bosnian/Serbian ethnicity who also introduced those sounds to their music. With tunes like Hava Nagila and Miserlou being staples in the surf rock repertoire, the connection between surf rock and Eastern European and Middle Eastern music is undeniable. Why not seek a more overt connection by utilizing the rich tradition of Balkan dance rhythms in a surf rock aesthetic?
Stevig's love of Ennio Morricone themes from the spaghetti westerns of the 60's and 70's, as well as themes from spy movies of the same era, only serves to widen the pallet he can draw from for this new surf rock sound. His love of modern surf rock stalwarts such as Massachusetts' own The Fathoms, the Space Cossacks, Daikaiju, the Bambi Molesters, the Phantom Four, the Blue Stingrays, and others keeps the band's sound rooted within the surf rock genre. Ivo & the Wave Wranglers are pushing the modern surf sound in an entirely new direction and look forward to bringing that sound to a club near you!
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