The Spanic Boys “The Spanic Boys”

Posted 21 Feb 2012 in Albums of 1990, Albums of the 90s, Americana


Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#635 in the Series) is The Spanic Boys.

Today we are looking at an early 1990s band called The Spanic Boys. They are yet another band from the great state of Wisconsin. I raise that topic because besides looking at The Spanic Boys, I also want to take a look at how underrated the state of Wisconsin is in regards to being a producer of some great music.

The all-time patron saint of music in Wisconsin is probably not other than the late Les Paul. That name is about as historic in the world of music as you can get. But even in the last 30 or so years state has produced some wonderful musicians. In the last few months we’ve looked at bands like Fire Town (which included the now mega-producer Butch Vig) and also Loey Nelson. Those are two of my favorites from the state, but you also have to remember that some wonderful acts like the BoDeans and the Violent Femmes also called Wisconsin home. So not only was there a decent number of good acts but they also brought some variety and some darn good taste, especially if you’re a fan of Americana music. This was before the term Americana had surfaced. I guess Roots-Rock may have been the closest genre to describe them at the time.

Other great acts from Wisconsin that I’ve eluded to include jazz singer Al Jarreau, Genesis tour guitarist Daryl Stuermer (who also did some great work with his own band called Sweetbottom), Clicker and Steve Miller. Others who made a name for themselves include Leland Sklar, the Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison, and Howie Epstein of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.  Yeah okay, Liberace too and of course Bon Iver. I’m sure there are a ton more as well.

So tell me about The Spanic Boys you say. They had three albums on Rounder Records in the early 90s and then some here and there since. They may have also been quite possibly the most unique band I remember. Why? Well how many bands do you remember that were made up of a father-son team that played outstanding rock ‘n roll. I never did see their actual ages listed but I do know they were 22 years apart so I’m guessing when this album was released that they were maybe 47 and 25, maybe even little older.

Tom, the father and Ian, the son, shared a love for harmonious twangy guitar rock ‘n roll similar to the Everly Brothers. You can also tell that they’ve listened to the blues, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, etc.

Their big break came in 1990 when on the strength of a wonderful song called “I Keep on Walking” and a friendship with guitarist G.E. Smith landed them one of the coveted spots on Saturday Night Live. G.E. was the musical director of the show at the time. Originally, Sinead O’connor was going to be the musical guest that night but cancelled in protest of the host, Andrew Dice Clay. When she pulled out, G.E. made the call. You may also remember G.E. from being a longtime guitarist for Hall and Oates. The Spanic Boys also made an appearance on The Late Show with a David Letterman.

They’re still making music having released their last album to date in 2006.

— Larry Carta

 Track Listing

  1. Keep on Walking (Spanic) 3:29
  2. Living Hell (Spanic) 2:09
  3. Promised Land (Spanic) 3:40
  4. Stronger Than Anything (Spanic) 2:51
  5. The Way Life Goes (Spanic) 3:01
  6. Julieanna (Spanic) 3:04
  7. Looks Good to Me (Spanic) 2:43
  8. London Town (Spanic) 3:34
  9. When I Call (Spanic) 2:50
  10. I Will Wait (Spanic) 2:40
  11. Undercover (Spanic) 3:45
  12. Tears of Happiness (Spanic) 2:41
  13. Tell Me Why (Spanic) 2:52
  14. Lariat (Foster) 1:59
  15. Roll on Down the Line (Spanic) 2:49


  • Ian Spanic –  Guitar, Vocals
  • Tom Spanic – Guitar, Vocals
  • Dave Braun – Drums
  • Al Ek – Mandolin
  • Mike Fredrickson – Bass


Official Website of The Spanic Boys
See more from 1990
Check out a couple songs from The Spanic Boys

Here’s some more cool Americana albums to check out.

  • John Prine
  • Steve Earle and the Dukes 'Terraplane'  .. NEW ALBUM REVIEW
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers .. 'Hypnotic Eye'
  • Bob Dylan
  • Complete Footage of “The Last Waltz” Concert Surfaces
  • Lyle Lovett 'Lyle Lovett'
  • Brian Setzer 'The Knife Feels Like Justice'
  • Matraca Berg
  • Eva Cassidy 'Songbird'
  • Songs: Ohia 'The Magnolia Electric Co.'
  • Rosanne Cash 'The River & the Thread'
  • Tom Russell 'Heart on a Sleeve'
  • The Bottle Rockets 'The Bottle Rockets' and 'The Brooklyn Side'
  • Jason Isbell 'Southeastern'
  • 2013 Americana Music Honors and Award Winners Announced.
  • Robbie Fulks 'Gone Away Backward'
  • Americana Music Festival and Conference 2013 Schedule.
  • Little Green Cars 'Absolute Zero'
  • Vince Gill & Paul Franklin 'Bakersfield'
  • Pokey LaFarge 'Pokey LaFarge'
  • Nomad Planets 'You're Never Lost Until You Panic'
  • Josh Halverson 'One Shot'
  • John Doe and the Sadies 'Country Club'
  • Dawes 'Stories Don't End' - NEW MUSIC REVIEW
  • Old Man Markley 'Down Side Up'
  • The Black Lillies 'Runaway Freeway Blues'
  • Johnny Cash
  • Whiskeytown 'Strangers Almanac'
  • Shelby Lynne 'I Am Shelby Lynne'
  • Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale 'Buddy and Jim'
  • Eric Lambert on the Move After The Henhouse Prowlers
  • Bobby Charles 'Bobby Charles'
  • Dave Alvin
  • Lyle Lovett 'Pontiac'
  • Rank and File 'Sundown'
  • Heartsfield
  • Mudcrutch "Mudcrutch"
  • Hal Ketchum
  • John Fullbright
  • Foster and Lloyd
  • Beachwood Sparks
  • Jerry Douglas
  • The Mountain Goats
  • Elizabeth Cook and Jason Ibell Perform Internet Only Songs on Letterman .. We have them!
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • 2012 Americana Music Association Award Nominees Announced
  • The Blasters
  • Pat Green
  • Cory Branan
  • The Waco Brothers and Paul Burch
  • Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins
  • Justin Townes Earle
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks
  • The Spanic Boys
  • Levon Helm
  • The Subdudes
  • The Felice Brothers
  • Mountain Stage Upcoming Broadcast Schedule
  • Willis Alan Ramsey
  • Mason Proffit
  •  The Bottle Rockets
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • The Notorious Cherry Bombs
  • Lydia Loveless,
  • Sonny Landreth
  • The Low Anthem
  • Robert Ellis
  • Gram Parsons & the Fallen Angels
  • Corky Siegel
  • Documentary:
  • The Little Willies
  • The Gram Parsons Foundation Announces the Launch of the First Online Destination for
  • The Jayhawks..
  • Sea Level
  • EmmyLou Harris and Rodney Crowell Duets Album Planned (Recording Begins Nov. 14th)
  • The Band
  • James McMurtry - Too Long in the Wasteland
  • Dave Alvin
  • Chris Hillman
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse
  • John Hiatt
  • Freebo
  • America
  • Carlene Carter
  • John Mellencamp
  • John Hiatt
  • David Bromberg readies New Album with Help from Levon Helm, John Hiatt, Linda Ronstadt and others.
  • Fire Town
  •  Crosby & Nash
  • American Music Club
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • John Fogerty 'The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again
  • Band of Horses
  • EmmyLou Harris
  • Chris Isaak
  • BoDeans
  • Nanci Griffith
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • The Jayhawks
Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. Rob Henry (08 May 2013, 11:20)

    What a great one! Perfect album for here – I only wish I had thought to review it!
    I played the crap out of this cd – songs on mix tapes all the time —

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