Early Life on the River
Ivan and Isaac Wentzel spent a fair amount of their young lives in and around the Duck River. It was always there fathers go to spot for camping fishing and swimming and later, a concert venue with lots of live music events. They spent many hot summer days floating the river and many warm summer nights camping on its banks.Only people that spend a lot of time in and around the water realize what a profound impact it can have on the way someone feels about nature and life in general.
There is nothing quite like playing around a campfire in the middle of the woods with nothing else to do. Even the stiffest people in the group tends to loosen up and sing along after a while. The Wentzel Brothers know this all too well.They have no shortage of campfire jams in their repertoire. In fact this is how many of the Wentzel brothers tunes came to be.
It All Starts with the Acoustic Guitar
The river and music go together like beans and cornbread and one of the beautiful things about a portable acoustic instrument is that you can carry it anymore. That being said going to the river without your guitar is like going to work with no pants. There’s no better time to write a song than when you’re watching the water rollover the rocks. Almost every song the band writes is conceived with the acoustic guitar it doesn’t look like that’s gonna change soon.
Ivan and Isaac at one point both worked at a local canoe rental business owned by David Pinrod. Duck canoe was the name of the business. It was one of the only jobs not associated with music that allowed you to bring your guitar to work. There were several hours each day spent on waiting for consumers to arrive from your long trip on the river. The brothers often passed the time with music by the riverside. They gained fans and friends alike through the several summers playing with a sort of live concert event by the riverside at the take out point ….Rats Nest Campground
The Rats Nest Campground
The Rats Nest Campground in many ways is one of the most important places in the history of the Band.The campground is owned by Coleman Michaels who has been completely supportive and totally generous towards the band in every way. The campground is home to the legendary “Howlin Hill river stage” a concert venue at which the boys were allowed to play live concert events at on a regular basis in their early career.
They were able to meet and watch many great banda there including “The Howlin Brothers “ after which the stage was named.Coleman Michaels and David Penrod remain supporters of the band to this very day.
In conclusion, The Duck River, it’s beauty, and the people surrounding it will always be an unwavering part of The Wentzel Brother’s music. In wise words of Lynyrd Skynyrd “You can take a boy out of old Dixieland lord but you will never take old Dixie from a boy.” That statement is further complimented by a saying that is common among the band “Real country boys play rock and roll.”