If jazz, swing dancing, and heated competition strike your fancy, head to Californos' Ballroom Sunday evening (6 p.m.) to watch Grand Marquis and David Basse's band compete in the battle of the swing bands.
Both bands will compete for four hours, trading 30 minute sets. At the end of the night, the audience will vote to decide the winner. Attendees can enjoy food, drinks, and swing dancing. Go to grandmarquis.net for tickets ($10 pre-sale, $12 door). All-ages.
We recently spoke with Grand Marquis' Bryan Redmond (sax, vocals) about the details of the evening, and what the band has in store for later this year.
The Pitch: Can you tell us a bit about the show this weekend?
Bryan Redmond: Well, we've never done anything specifically like this, although it's not a new concept. There used to be territory bands. They used to tour around, but they usually had their own territory. Like, the Blue Devils out of Oklahoma City for example. This was depression era, the 30s. And they'd travel to a different territory. And a lot of times they would engage in a battle of the bands, so to speak, where they would play a show with a resident group and often times they had to win in order to play in that town. Basically, to see if they were good enough to play in the town. So, we're taking on that concept.
Excited to play against David Basse?
David's been around the scene for a good 30 years, and so, we've worked with him on different shows, and booking. But recently — this is kind of where this came about — David had been doing the 12th Street Jump radio show on KCUR. I've subbed in for him on occasion, and also they've had me as a guest artist. Last time I was on there, they said, 'oh, we'll just tell David he doesn't need to come back, we've just got you. You're fine' (laughs). So, we've been talking about doing something like this before because we thought it would be fun. And, you know, he's gotten old. He's been good for a number of years, but we'll show him that we're the superior band around. It's all friendly competition, though (chuckles).
I know there will be dancing that evening, but is there anything else special planned for that night?
Well, Pearl McDonald from Comedy City, and she's also on the 12th Street Jump radio show, and she's involved with with female comedy shows, she'll be moderating.
Anything new coming up for your band in the next year?
It's pretty exciting. We got to record in February, late January at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn. From that session, we were in there about 4 or 5 hours, we recorded about eight songs. Our next release should be out by about the first week of December. You never know, but it should be ready to sell and to have a release party in a little over a month. It's going to include a 45rpm single/7 inch, and it will also have a CD with everything on it. The CD will be enhanced, so you can pop it in your computer and watch video of us recording in Sun Studio. We'll call it the Sun Sessions.