Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is the eighth of 12 installments reviewing nominees in each category of Dale Watson’s 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards. Voting is now over for this year’s batch of nominees but we will carry on with the review until the event on February 15, 2017 with a look today at this year’s Western Swing Group nominees.
With some strong rockabilly leanings, The Carolyn Sills Combo is illustrating that not only did this style of music never go out of style, it is as relevant as ever. Their album, Dime Stories, Vol. 2 was released in May of 2016. It is a wonderful mix of old time country with a modern and fresh sound of today. They were nominated for a 2016 Ameripolitan Award for Western Swing group as well and a 2016 Academy of Western Artist Award for western swing group and album.
The Western Flyers are one of the more dynamic bands to come onto the music scene in recent memory. If there is a such thing as a western swing supergroup, this could be it. The trio is comprised of Internationally renowned guitar master Joey McKenzie, reigning National Swing Fiddle champion Katie Glassman, and world-class upright bassist Gavin Kelso. They successfully blend tradition and innovation to create something totally original.
The self titled album by 50 Shades Of Hay was released in April of 2016.Every single one of the musicians in this band is an extremely talented and accomplished musician. This talent transcends their music as they travel flawlessly through their songs on the self titled album.
With numerous nominations and awards under their wings, The Western Swing Authority is a heavy hitter in this category. They expertly mix country music with some jazzy elements and a heaping helping of big band and orchestra. These guys and gals play a substantial number of concerts throughout Canada and the US, spreading the love and music wherever they go.
Shoot Low Sheriff is a Western Swing outfit straight out of Dallas, TX. They draw their inspiration from the classic Western Swing bands of the 30s and 40s. They combine strings, horns, and piano to recapture the music and ambiance of yesteryear. While they pay homage to the vintage genre of Western Swing, they add jazz to their playbook as well. They also put a modern touch on their playing style to expertly meld the old with the new.
The Western Swing Group category encompasses many styles and is brimming with talented musicians in the genres of country music, jazz, and big band. All of these outfits bring something original and unique to the table.