Prairie Wildfire – June Artist Spotlight
Artist Spotlight – June 2023
For my June Artist Spotlight, I would like to share a little bit about a trio that brings you music with an old west feel and great harmonies. Three talented young ladies, Morgan Blaney, Sage Palser and Tessa Taylor make up the band Prairie Wildfire. All three of them are from the beautiful city of Buffalo, Wyoming. Buffalo is known as one of Wyoming’s most beautiful historic small towns. Walking through downtown will definitely make you feel like you are in the Old West, that is probably one reason some of the shots for the tv show Longmire has been done in town. If you have ever thought of going out west and seeing Mt Rushmore or going to Yellowstone Park, you should plan to spend a day in Buffalo since it is in between the two locations. Sounds like there are a few good places to grab food also.
Sage and Tessa both grew up on country music while Morgan had a childhood full of bluegrass. Morgan may have enjoyed bluegrass music prior to Sage and Tessa but it wasn’t long before their love of music changed. We all know banjo is a big part of bluegrass and that is exactly how Tessa’s love for bluegrass came about. As classic country music may still be Sage’s all-time favorite, the Bluegrass Camp for Kids definitely brought a new to love in music to her. Bluegrass music might not have been the first love for all three women but performing was definitely something they all loved early and continue to do.
From the young age of worrying about being able to reach the microphone, Sage enjoyed playing in the pep band for basketball games at Buffalo High School and currently enjoys the music experience and education at East Tennessee State University. Tessa will never forget when her volleyball team won the regional championship during her senior year at Buffalo High School. Morgan’s favorite memory is performing in her Senior Bluegrass Recital for the University of Northern Colorado.
The favorite memories that the three have fresh in their mind, last year was a big year for Prairie Wildfire and gave a few new ones. As they attended the IBMA World of Bluegrass conference for the first time, they not only had fun every second they were there, they were reminded of what their capabilities are and how much they love doing what they do! Being surrounded by the numerous bluegrass fans and artists gives a person a great sense of support and inspiration. I personally leave the IBMA conference pumped and ready to conquer all, I couldn’t imagine anyone else having a different feeling. After experiencing their first IBMA, they continued to grow as a band by performing at a bigger stage than their normal local events. Still on that confidence high from IBMA, Prairie Wildfire took to the stage at Christmas in the Smokies for another truly amazing experience.
As someone with no talent of playing an instrument, it always amazes me how artists can play such great music together in such a short amount of time. Just eight short years ago, Morgan and Sage co-founded Prairie Wildfire and then had the privilege of Tessa joining the band in 2020. Prior to 2014, the girls all had their paths within the music scene. Sage might have been interested in playing instruments at a young age, but it wasn’t until her second year at Bluegrass Camp for Kids. She was only eight years old and needed one more instrument to sign up for classes. After signing up for an instrument she didn’t even know about and just thought it sounded cool, she ended up leaving camp not wanting to give it back. Now she rocks it out on the mandolin and loves it! Tessa began her successful path at playing the banjo at the early age of eight years old as well. It is truly crazy to hear that an eight-year-old started playing an instrument, let alone, researching and finding a banjo teacher in their home town. While Morgan was attending the Bighorn Bluegrass Camp in the hopes of playing the guitar, she got put into a “band” group and had to pick up the bass since no one else would. Think the saying, “things happen for a reason” explains how Morgan learned the bass.
Under ten years together as a trio, the women have found ways of blending their sounds and zoning in their great harmonies. The writing sessions may rotate between the three artists homes, but they also find some creativity while they are alone, whether they are at home or at random places. No matter where they are writing, caffeine is ALWAYS on the table. When the band decides to create an album, each artist picks a few songs that they like and then they talk through choosing the songs as if they are constructing a live set.
The trio, Prairie Wildfire, would not be where they are if it was not for their most incredible friends and mentors David Stewart or Lynn Young. Musically, the two gentlemen help inspire love in connection with music. Being in a band is a lot of work but it is worth it if you are playing with people that you love to play with. Sage would say that it is like being in a serious type of relationship with your band mates. If there is love between all band members and everyone loves what they are doing, then the reward is like nothing else you have had before.
Prairie Wildfire are excited about their new album, Prairie Wildfire. Morgan enjoyed the usual stress of singing some lead vocals but had a blast, especially with the area of harmonies. Tessa found a couple of the harmonies challenging her to go outside the comfort zone but powered through successfully. Sage enjoyed every minute in the booth and creating awesome music with Tessa and Morgan. Morgan’s favorite song on the album is ‘If I Could Make A Wish’, Tessa’s is ‘Solid Ground’ and Sage’s is ‘Bowling Green’.
Fast Firing Fun Facts:
What is your favorite Holiday?
Sage – The Fourth Of July because of the fireworks
Tessa – St Patrick’s day, something about the energy that surrounds this holiday always puts her in a good mood.
Morgan – Christmas, it’s usually the only time family is together.
What is your favorite saying/quote?
Sage – Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Tessa – 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Morgan – “Don’t say no to yourself”, from her mom
What is your dream destination?
Sage – Switzerland
Tessa – Ireland
Morgan – Scotland
What state has been your favorite to do a concert/event in?
Sage – Tennessee (Gatlinburg)
Tessa – Tennessee
Morgan – Tennessee
What is your favorite type of car?
Sage – Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn edition
Tessa – 1958 Pontiac Star Chief
Morgan – One that runs and has room for the upright bass
Do you have a hobby outside of music and what is it?
Sage – hiking and horse trail riding
Tessa – ranching, climbing, and painting
Morgan – cooking, writing, and hiking
What is your favorite kind of Ice Cream?
Sage – mint chocolate chip
Tessa – coffee
Morgan – moose tracks
What is your favorite junk food?
Sage – salt and vinegar chips
Tessa – cheddar ruffles and queso
Morgan – popcorn
Do you have any pet(s) and what are their names?
Sage – dog (Kai), cats (Coop, Daisy and Duke) and horse (Sweetie)
Tessa – dogs (Blitz and Charlie) and horses (too many to name)
Morgan – shares her parents dogs (Juno and Molly)
What is your favorite book that you read or Arthur that you like to read?
Sage – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Morgan – Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys or anything by Louisa May Alcott
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress?
Sage – Ryan Reynolds
Tessa – Reese Witherspoon
Morgan – Helena Bonham Carter
What is your favorite movie line?
Sage – “I’m your huckleberry” from Tombstone
Tessa – “I don’t much like the idea of getting shot in the hand” from Rustlers Rhapsody
Morgan – the ENTIRE park bench scene from Good Will Hunting.
News or Upcoming news from artist:
Their new album, Prairie Wildfire, was released in March 2023. They recorded it last January under the Turnberry Records Label. The album, Prairie Wildfire, has a number of writers including David Stewart, Mark Brinkman, Tessa Taylor and Sage Palser. Make sure to check out the new album – it is full of great songs that showcase their beautiful harmonies and instrumental talents. You will thank yourself for downloading or purchasing the album.
A couple events they have planned for the summer are:
FlatRock Bluegrass Jamboree in Armstrong Creek, Wisconsin – June 22-24, 2023
7 Mile Bluegrass Festival in Greenfield, Ohio – July 27-29, 2023
County Bluegrass Festival in Fort Fairfield, Maine
IBMA Official Ramble Showcase Artist
Website for artist, tour dates and/or merchandise:
Check out the artist/band website for all their new songs, tour dates and merchandise. The best way to support our local broadcasters and artists are through their sales – CDs, albums, shirts and etc. Let’s show our support – go check their website.
You can purchase albums also at https://www.turnberryrecords.com/