Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
For those of you that need a refresher, Ameripolitan is the moniker given to “real” country music. It encompasses such categories as honky tonk, outlaw, rockabilly, and western swing. All of the four food groups are represented. These awards are very important because this is the ONLY forum to recognize the men and women that have, and are, dedicating their lives to preserving these forms of music. This isn’t a revivalist movement at all because that would mean that these musical genres went somewhere. Not true. They have been here all along, it just needs to be returned back to the people.
Here are the nominees for Western Swing Band 2018:
Mike Penny & His Moonshiners Mike Penny & His Moonshiners have wholly dedicated themselves to the traditional western swing and hillbilly of the 40s and 50s. Everything is authentic with this band, from instruments, to outfit, sound and music. The band was founded by Mike Penny in 2008.
The Farmer & Adele The Farmer & Adele grew up admiring classic music – classic country, jazz, the Tin Pan Alley songwriters – and those early styles reflect so much of what the two stand for. Their songwriting is uplifting, heroic and simple, but hearken back to the time of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
The Carolyn Sills Combo With some strong rockabilly leanings, The Carolyn Sills Combo is illustrating that not only did this style of music never go out of fashion, it is as relevant as ever. Their style is a mix of old time country with a modern and fresh sound of today. This is their third year being nominated for Western Swing Group.
The Western Toneflyers The Ameripolitan Awards are now an international movement. The Western Tonelflyers are the second act from Sweden. Again, they are so true to the genre that it’s as if they all grew up in Texas. They sling the swing with the best of them, laying down a nice groove. It;s like a collision between honky tonk and big band.
The Railhouse Band For The Railhouse Band, looking forward may be just as exciting as looking back upon the great dance music of yesteryear. The group are set to release a live album recorded from their Cheatham Street Warehouse residency as well as perform at this summer’s Kerrville Folk Festival.