Nolan Bronson coming to Portland!

Larry’s son Nolan will be in Portland for two shows on June 24, 2017. Please see TOUR DATES for details.

Dad and son worked together for six years prior to Nolan’s entry into the Navy in 2012.

Nolan’s guitar work and singing anchored the Stumptown Stars, who twice toured Europe.

Here are Nolan and Larry in Austin for a basketball game–and good eats, 2016.

With son Nolan at U of TX game. Jan. '16

With son Nolan at U of TX game. Jan. ’16

Guitar Inspirations

My guitar heroes tend to be fingerstyle players: Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Maybelle Carter, Pete Seeger, Paco de Lucia, Guy Van Duser, Leo Kottke, Juan Serrano and many others.
Chet has to be regarded as the world’s most versatile guitarist for his brilliance in every genre of music: classical, rock, blues, country et al. So, let’s start with him._MG_3759
Here’s Chet playing “Mr. Sandman”: Very nice.
Lend an ear to his rendition of “Recuerdos de Alhambra”
Dig Chet’s staggering technique on “Blue Angel”:

Larry in Boring Christmas Show

Larry is once again proud to participate in Nutz-n-Boltz Theater’s Christmas fundraiser.
The old Grange Hall in Boring, OR has been converted into a playhouse-complete w/ red soft seats, sound system, lights and all!
Larry will feature his “Snowflakes” song–especially composed for Holidays and the New Year.
Join us for this fun family Holiday show that runs Dec 11-12-13. [Please see Tour Dates.]

Swiss Choir Concert

I am honored to be performing with the Helvetia-Alpengluehn Choir!

Sat 16 May  Springfest 2015
Bethany Presbyterian Church
Springville & Kaiser Rds
Portland OR

Dinner 5:30   $8

Concert  7:30 $8

Larry & the Stumptown Stars in Carlton May 2

We are happy to return to the Horse Radish Restaurant in Carlton on Saturday night, May 2nd.

Enjoy the short, lovely springtime excursion to a grand destination for wine, a date night or the whole family for dinner!   221 W. Main  Carlton, OR    503.852.6656

“The Sweetheart of San Fernando”

I was thrilled to present this new tune in honor of Western music legend and inspiration Marilyn Tuttle at the Gene Autry National Museum in Los Angeles on March 15, 2015.

By the following night, many were singing along with me on the chorus at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.

Here are the chords and lyrics:

The Sweetheart of San Fernando     ©2015 Larry Wilder


C                      F              C                   F               Fm          C

She’s the Sweetheart of San Fernando—the dearest in all the West

C        F          C            Am            D7                          Dm-G7

The Lady with a heart of gold—the cowgirl we love  best

C                 F           C          F                 Fm     C

She sang way back in ’46 in “Down Missouri Way”

F                Em                 Dm     Am                  F                     G7      C

Her voice and heart know  all the parts—she’s tailor made  for today



She’s the truest Saddle Pal—that Western music knows

All us boys and cowgirls—know the debt we owe

To make the best darn music West of the Great Divide

And feel her Love and Guiding Hand—right here by our side



She did the ’50s TV shows—with Wes and Les and Merle

She was a friend of old Bob Nolan—this Original Western Girl

With her dazzling Heavenly voice—sent down from God Above

She helped create our Western ways with her talent, faith and love



Now our Sweetheart of San Fernando—is the Lady in the very first row

She keeps the flame and lights our way to make a Western show

When her name is called up Yonder—you’ll hear all Heaven ring

From the very first row of the Heavenly Choir

She’ll show ’em how an Angel sings



Tag: She’s the Queen of the West who’s just the best-the Sweetheart of San Fernando

Notes:  Verses and chorus = same chords.  I use the capo on the 2nd fret—key of D.

Have fun and sing it out for Marilyn!

Larry Wilder

New song: “Heart of the Child”

Putting the finishing touches on “Heart of the Child,” a new song about abuse of women and children. While I cannot begin to appreciate what victims endure, I attempted to describe the woman’s feeling of confusion and disempowerment. Her ultimate victory of taking herself and her children safely into The Light was only possible because of her faith, gratitude and courage.

The song will be first performed at a benefit for Project T.O.U.C.H. on August 10.

For more information on this wonderful program:

Americana Music Inspiration, Sons of the Pioneers

Formed in 1933, the Sons of the Pioneers trio of Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer and Len Slye soon featured the brilliant instrumental work of the Farr Brothers, Karl (guitar) and Hugh (violin). Karl Farr Jr once told this writer that his dad would listen to Stephane Grappelli, violinist with Django Reinhardt’s Hot Club of France quintet. No American fiddler has ever had a more supple right hand or more innate sense of touch or timing than Hugh Farr.

When Len Slye turned into Roy Rogers four years later, the Pioneers enlisted Pat Brady and Lloyd Perryman. Lloyd’s lustrous tenor voice and brilliant arranging skills enhanced what was already an electrifying bunch. In addition to Lloyd, Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer and the Farr Brothers, Brady’s bass, comedy and singing rounded out this greatest of all western musical groups. Allowing for WW2 interruptions, this classic six played from 1937 until the retirements of Spencer and Nolan in ’49.

Their recordings of Nolan’s “Tumbling Tumbleweed” and “Cool Water” are legendary. Try “The Touch of God’s Hand” some time. Or you might be swept away with “Chant of the Wanderer” or “Song of the Bandit.”

Americana has never been the same since the Sons of the Pioneers conquered the West.


The Rich Influences of Americana Music

AmericasInfluences02Americana music is a varied and rich tapestry with a thousand definitions and a million adventures. To me, Americana means anything folks like to play and sing here in America. We have influences from all over the globe tinting and intensifying our musical artist’s palette.

The late Alan Lomax (1915-2002) collected songs all around America, as had his father John. In his classic volume The Folksongs of North America, Lomax says that “Our best songs and dances are hybrids of hybrids, mixtures of mixtures, and this may be their great appeal to a cosmopolitan age . . . folk music, like other arts and sciences, blooms hard by the crossroads.”

What is a folk song? Whatever you think.

What popular song today will be a folk song in thirty years? You guessed it.

Pete Seeger Was a Rebel

Back in the 1940s, Pete Seeger and his wonderful group the Weavers brought many tunes from our wonderful heritage and from Europe and around the world. Pete was castigated by the “pure folk” musicians and critics for rearranging old songs for modern ears and just for fun. Today, few would question the impact, authenticity or motives of Pete and bandmates Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman or Lee Hays. Time has passed; they are Americana monuments.