Review: Swinging Broadway by John England and the Western Swingers

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Sometime ago, I got an e-mail from someone who stumbled across the long list of things I've written here about western swing music. The e-mail came from John England, who fronts a Nashville-based band called the Western Swingers. John asked me if I'd like a free CD, and I said, "Of course!"

John sent me a copy of Swinging Broadway, released in 2003. The whole family has been enjoying it for a couple of weeks now, and by whole family I mean everyone from the 16 month old toddler to Mom and Dad. The CD passes a couple of key quality tests:

(1) The baby bounce test: If the music makes the baby bounce up and down in his high chair, it's good stuff. In particular, "Your Turn to Cry," "Stumbling," and "Little Red Wagon" got the little one grinning and bobbing.

(Not just any music will make our kids bounce. When the oldest one was about eight months old, we went to a barbecue place we'd never tried before. The food was good, but it happened to be karaoke night. The baby bounced to the radio music that was being played before karaoke began, but he stopped when the first amateur balladeer started singing.)

(2) The humming/whistling/singing test: I've caught Mom and the two big kids humming or singing "Won't you ride in my little red wagon?"

My favorite cut on the disc is the instrumental "Stumbling," with its tight guitar ensemble work and rare bass and drum solos. For just six guys, they make a big, full sound.

The Western Swingers play most of their dates in and around Nashville, including a weekly gig at Robert's Western World on Broadway. The next time they'll be anywhere near Tulsa will be June 14 at the Legends of Western Swing Festival in Wichita Falls, Texas. (It's only 240 miles away!)

You can hear a few of their songs and find a list of upcoming dates on their MySpace profile. If you love western swing, you'll love the Western Swingers.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 1, 2007 9:07 PM.

Show prep: May Day was the previous entry in this blog.

McGreevey and McKee is the next entry in this blog.

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