The Red-Headed Stepchild of Swing

Other music that might interest us

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#16 Post by wheresmygravy » Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:02 am

For me to play a 'western swing' song at a dance, I would want it to have a connection to the tradition jazz/swing we are used to. I wouldn't play a western swing song like "The Yellow Rose of Texas". I would want something that is familiar to the dancers, but has an arrangment that is very different, fiddles, steel guitar, banjos.

Just like many DJ's like to see how many different versions of some standards like C-Jam Blues we can find, It's the same thing, just by a different style of cover band.

And I definitely do it as a novelty.

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#17 Post by julius » Thu Jan 15, 2004 12:34 pm

It's too bad the Bonebrake Syncopators don't have a CD out. As far as I know, anyway.

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#18 Post by KevinSchaper » Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:21 pm

julius wrote:It's too bad the Bonebrake Syncopators don't have a CD out. As far as I know, anyway.
You could buy Dave Stuckey's CD.. it's mostly the same band doing western stuff, instead of benny goodman stuff with a western tinge. :)

Re: Songs we like done by western bands - the absolute best Four or Five Times I've ever heard/danced to was the surviving Texas Playboys..

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#19 Post by Lawrence » Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:46 pm

julius wrote:It seems to me that if you have to sit dancers down and convince them that they want to dance to music they don't like, you might as well use classic swing instead of western swing.
gatorgal wrote:Yeah, but if classic swing is outside of their comfort zone too, then you're essentially doing the same thing. :)
Uhh, yeah, that was kind of my point. I was commenting on the irony of devoting energy to convincing dancers of the merits of western swing as opposed to, oh, I dunno, stuff played in the ballrooms where lindy hop developed.
There is a slight difference between forcing an entire set of lo-fi vintage swing music on non-vintage, hi-fi-loving Lindy Hoppers and playing one song every once in a while with a Texas/Country twang to Lindy Hoppers in Texas. 8) :wink:

Indeed, that has been my primary beef with some "classic swing" DJs who continue playing vintage swing in a set even though the floor has cleared. (Several (not just one or two) have even recently admitted on this Board that they frankly don't care if the floor clears--they will continue to play what they want to play and the dancers better learn to like it, cause they ain't gonna change). I DON'T play that second, third, fourth... tenth western swing song if the first doesn't go over well. (Same way I treat vintage swing, modern swing, groove swing, or "whatever" swing). Indeed, I don't think I've ever played more than two or three "western swing"/"countryish" songs EVER--even when it HAS gone over well--precisely because I don't want to push my luck and I do not expect to convince everyone to immediately adjust their tastes/preferences to mine.

Also, to be even clearer, I play far more vintage swing than western swing, which DOES reflect my own preferences.

Also, Western Swing WAS the music that filled ballrooms "back in the day"... just not in Harlem. Sometimes the obsessive focus on the great music in Harlem in the 30s and 40s overlooks the great music that was happening elsewhere. Playing the Steve Forbert, Jimmy Rogers Tribute CD to which I referred is somewhat akin to playing Dean Mora.
Lawrence Page
Austin Lindy Hop

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#20 Post by Platypus » Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:58 am

Per the small group who responded to my question online, they were along the lines of gravy's comment...okay as an occasional novelty tune.

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#21 Post by wheresmygravy » Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:18 am

The Vassar Clements "Night Train" was a big hit. The floor was filled and nobody started 'two-stepping"!

I also got the chance to listen to the new Hot Club in Cowtown, 'Continental Stomp'. I am going to have to buy some of their stuff.


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#22 Post by JesseMiner » Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:19 am

I've never really gotten into Bob Wills' stuff, but a good friend and western swing fan recommended this album which I do dig:

Hank Penny - Crazy Rhythm: The Standard Transcriptions

I especially get a kick out of "Progressive Country Music for a Hollywood Flapper", featuring the melody from "Taps Miller".