[never]What do you get when you give country music an electric punch? “We call it power-twang,” bass guitar player Rich Wyllis said. “Our lead singer has the classic male country thing going, but our two guitar players tend to rock out a little bit more.”
The lead vocals of David Cranfill combined with Rich Wyllis on bass guitar, Brandon Lardie and Jeff Pardee each on guitar, and Jim Pardee on the drums creates a sound uncharacteristic of the genre.
It’s a sound that has been developing in the Lansing area over the past 10 years, when the band was originally formed. Since then the members have changed, but the group as it stands today has been playing together for a little over a year. Rich Wyllis and Jim Pardee met while playing with another band Audio Vertigo, and the rest is history. They hail from nearby towns such as Holt, Haslett and Williamston but came together to play across the greater Lansing area.
[crying]Today they are finding much success playing original material as well as covers. Performances across the state have included a wide variety of country, classic rock and 80s hits. The band members, who are between the ages of 29 and 38, are encouraged to spice up the sound by incorporating the styles closest to their hearts. “My personal favorite to play is the rock-oriented country, like Big and Rich, but everyone has their own taste,” Wyllis said. This dynamic explains the unique flavor of Cryn\’ Wolf.
“We’re grown men with jobs and families, but this is more than just a hobby,” Wyllis said. “It’s like another full- time job.” This obvious hard work and dedication combined with natural talent is what has won over fans and earned them a contract through the Colgate Country Showdown.
Regarded as one of the top talent searches in the United States, nearly 50,000 aspiring country singers compete in the Colgate Country Showdown on local, regional and national levels each year. On Oct. 14 they will be playing at the regional finals in Wheeling, W. Va., for the first time. The band has had previous experience playing back-up for competitors at the state finals, which took place Sept. 2 this year in Detroit at the Michigan State Fairgrounds.
Last year they played a show before the state competition began and opened for country singer and American Idol contestant Josh Gracin. “It was an excellent show and probably the biggest one we’ve done,” Wyllis said. “There were about 1,700 people there and everyone was really hyped and really into it.” [wolf] And really, who wouldn’t be once the boys start jamming?
“I checked them out online and even though I’m not a huge country fan, I would love to see them play live,” elementary education sophomore Megan Augustyniak said. “I’m all about supporting bands from the East Lansing area.”
Cryn\’ Wolf recently celebrated the opening of the Stampede Saloon in Lansing. Their performance was a hit, and the owner plans to keep them as a staple at the saloon. “The grand opening was a success,” Stampede Saloon owner Terry Ranshaw said. “The reception of the show was very good. They’re a great bunch of guys and very professional.”
If you haven\’t seen Cryn\’ Wolf yet, check them out at Stampede Saloon in Lansing, located on NE Street at the previous location of the Cactus Juice Saloon – they\’ll be playing there Sept. 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30. “We heard their music and liked them, so they’ll be playing here for the next three weekends,” Stampede Saloon manager David Matthews said.
The band will be performing from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. To find out more information, head over to their website at www.crynwolf.com.

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