A swingin’ good time

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Warren Hood and the Marshall Ford Swing Band to play on Friday night

By Russ Gordon

This Friday night we’ll be at the Mari-Mac Shopping Center with Warren Hood and the Marshall Ford Swing Band featuring Emily Gimble. I hope that the weather is something like Wednesday night’s because then the bands will pay us to come here.

Warren Hood is the fiddler for the Waybacks. Before that, he was the original fiddler for the South Austin Jug Band. Both bands have played great concerts in Los Alamos. He’s all over his violin with all styles of music and has been onstage since he was 4 years old.

A child prodigy, he played in one of the top ’60s and ’70s bands in all of Texas: Uncle Walt’s Band featuring Walter Hyatt and Warren’s late father, Champ, who was a Texas icon. After finishing elementary, middle school and high school, Warren quit his full-time South Austin Jug Band gig and went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

The prestigious school is noted for having a broad scope of music instruction. Hood was an award winning honor student with the violin, but he decided not to continue in classical music because he wanted to play the more interpretive music he grew up with; jazz, rock, Texas country and swing. He played swing music like that of Texans Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb and Hank Thompson. You know, the “Waltz Across Texas,” “San Antonio Rose” and “Take Me Back To Tulsa” kind of stuff, as well as the swinging jazz of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt.

Warren can play tremendously, anything that he figures will sound cool on his violin. He’s a Berklee graduate so he knows a lot about all styles of great music.

When Hood isn’t touring with the Waybacks, he has his own band in Austin. He’s also a very distinguished studio musician and is a violinist/fiddler for hire. His latest Austin band is “Warren Hood and the Goods.” This band features the soon-to-be famous pianist and sultry singer, Emily Gimble.

Gimble is also a member of another famous Texas musical family. Her grandfather is Johnny Gimble, who’s famous for playing with that same Bob Wills, as well as Willie Nelson and just about every great Texas swing and country band. Johnny played a tremendous concert for us about five years ago at Los Alamos National Bank with Emily’s dad, Dick and Taos’ Jimmy Stadler.

Gimble’s singing reminds me of Norah Jones and Billie Holliday. When this young lady sings, your jaw will drop open. She’s fabulous, especially when she’s singing jazz standards. Gimble’s main job is that of a singer and boogie-woogie pianist for the Marshall Ford Swing Band.

The Marshall Ford Swing Band recently returned from playing the World Expo in China where half a million people walked through the gates every day. They turned the audience on to western swing and bebop jazz and the Marshall Ford Swing Band was turned on to the world.

An interesting bit of information is in the band’s name. The Marshall Ford name came from a dam in Texas. The name of their latest CD is “It’s About Dam Time” and the band promises good times and good music. You can’t help tapping your feet and snapping your fingers. It’ll be a great dance concert.

The stage is near some of our sponsors’ businesses: Smith’s Food & Drugs, Blue Window Bistro, the Coffee House Café, Uli’s Cottontails, Daniel’s Cafe Häagen-Dazs, Don Taylor’s Photography, the Best Western Hilltop House, Los Alamos National Bank, Del Norte Credit Union, Zia Credit Union, LA Community Network and Kenny’s North Carolina BBQ.

During the break, around 8:20 p.m., we’re going to have a fashion show presented by Uli’s Cottontails. This should be fun, different and new for us. Uli’s will offer 20 percent off on all purchases from 8:30-9 p.m. One of the main objectives of the series is to promote local businesses, the one’s that pay taxes in our town and therefore support our community. Please try to shop locally.

The Los Alamos County Festival, Fair and Rodeo are next weekend. The music that will be provided is part of our series. On Friday night we’ll have high-energy European folk and gypsy music at Ashley Pond with the Fishtank Ensemble.

On Saturday, we have the Jimmy Stadler Band followed by the LA Big Band. At 7 p.m. we’ll have a country dinner and dance at the Posse Lodge featuring Fiddlin’ Doc Gonzales and the Orange Blossom Express. I’ll tell you more about them next week. Until then, check out www.warrenhood.com, www.myspace.com/warrenhoodmusic, www.marshallfordswingband.com, www.myspace.com/mfsbmusic, www.jimmy

stadler.com, www.hendricks

online.com/photo5.html and www.gordons