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At Long Last, A Surprise Album From The Teddy Boys

Devin Ferguson
L-R: Devin Ferguson, Ross Klemz, Graham Howland, Harper Sires, Dylan Sires, Joel Sires, members of the band "The Teddy Boys" who are playing two reunion shows in November.

Life has a way of reminding us of our past at the unlikeliest of times. For members of the Iowa band The Teddy Boys, it happened at a friend’s wedding. After performing a reunion show at the reception, they were handed a download card for an album they recorded, but didn’t finish, 12 years ago.

One of the Teddy Boys’ earliest fans was fellow Iowa musician Ian Williams. When the group was still gigging together often, Williams had just founded a recording studio in Amana called the Soundhole and asked the band if he could record them.

They started recording an album, but then due to a variety of factors, it was never finished.

Williams saved the in progress recording, and then in 2018 when Jake Powers, a longtime friend of Teddy Boys’, got engaged and asked the band to play a reunion show at his wedding reception, Williams had an idea.

Credit courtesy of Devin Ferguson
The original Teddy Boys lineup.

He would finish the album in secret and give it to the band as a surprise.

“I specifically didn't tell them I was doing it,” says Williams. “These songs weren't finished. Thankfully most of them had several takes and was able to cobble together a cohesive whole out of all but three songs.”

At the wedding, Williams gave Powers a stack of cards with a Bandcamp URL and let him pass them out.

When Devin Ferguson, one of the founding members of the band was handed the card, he bought his own record.

“I bought it for 10 bucks! Like an idiot!” he laughed.

The Teddy Boys were founded by brothers Harper and Joel Sires, who both sang and played guitar, with Ferguson and Ross Klemz rounding out the lineup. The band was active in the early-to-mid 2000s, recording a couple of albums and playing shows regularly.

Today, The Teddy Boys might be best-known as the band that split and then grew into SIRES and TWINS. Ferguson said it was “surreal” to hear the music for the first time in so long.

“It’s like a true time capsule,” he says. “A lot of those songs fell by the wayside. We never played them out or did anything with them ever again.”

For Williams, it was a special project that brought back a lot of positive memories.

Credit Luke Sires
Teddy Boys performing at Jake Powers' wedding.

“I remember seeing them and looking around me to see all types of people dancing and singing along. I look back fondly on those days and I hope some of those people get to hear these tracks and are reminded of how great it felt to be a part of it.”

“3 Stories For You” by the Teddy Boys is available exclusively on Bandcamp, and the Teddy Boys are reuniting for two shows in the next two months to celebrate the old album now made new. The first is at Octopus College Hill in Cedar Falls on Saturday, November 2, and the second is at XBk in Des Moines on Saturday, November 16. 

Tony Dehner is an award-winning Senior Music Producer, host and writer for Iowa Public Radio Studio One. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Dehner has worked for over two decades bringing the best AAA music to IPR's audience, and is a passionate believer in the Iowa music scene — after all, every musician was a “local musician” at the beginning of their career!