Panhandle Swing Panhandle Swing from Holland plays classic western swing in the Big Sound style of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.
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Western Swing

Western Swing, that seductive mix of happy country and jazzy swing, can justly be called Good Time Music. Bob Wills, one of the founding fathers of the style, let each one of his songs sound happy, even the sad ones. Sad but optimistic, lots of people felt just like that in the years when western swing was first heard, the 1930’s, a period of great crisis.

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In the early '30s, musicians in the noisy honkytonks of Texas – no breaks or there’ll be fighting – start mixing up Texas fiddletunes, New Orleans jazz & blues, Mexican melodies and popular songs. It is no coincidence that all this takes place in Texas. The Lone Star State has always done everything in it’s own 'bigger’ way. Texans have a sense for individuality, humor and for how to get people on the dancefloor.

Early leaders as Milton Brown and Bob Wills extended the original stringband line up with piano and drums and even horns. When, for the first time, solos on e-steel guitar were broadcasted, worried listeners phoned the studio: what did they hear?! A sax or a trombone?

The talented Milton Brown died, far too early, in 1936. Bob Wills continued until the 1960’s. For some time then it was quiet on the western swing front but soon bands like Asleep At The Wheel and Commander Cody picked it up again. Now, lots of bands are back in the saddle. Finally the wish can be fulfilled that Paul McCartney expressed in 1990: “I want a Texas country band. A kickin’ band true to Bob Wills style”. Well, give us a ring Paul.

_ Bob Wills
Bob Wills

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