Showband presents Western swing concert
Te Ata Memorial Auditorium will echo with the sounds of classic Western swing as the USAO Showband is scheduled to deliver a concert on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. The concert is free and open to the public.
The performance also will serve as final preparation for the band as they prepare to take their show on the road to Turkey, Texas, to play for an audience of more than 2000 people at the 40th Annual Bob Wills Day Festival at the end of April. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the festival over the course of the weekend.
The band is directed by Joe Settlemires who is the youngest living member of Bob Wills’ band, The Texas Playboys.
Settlemires, with the aid of his student Brandon Calderon, has restored many songs on the bill, including “San Antonio Rose” and “Faded Love,” to the authentic arrangements first employed by Wills. Another song on the bill, “I Hear You Talking,” is a piece originally recorded by Wills for a film in the early 1940s that has rarely been played in front of audiences.
Western swing music is a type of country music that got its start in the late 1920s. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys were the most famous practitioner of this style of music.
Joining the band will be Stacie McCracken, an alumna of USAO, who performed with the USAO Showband for the first five years of its existence. McCracken has rejoined the band for the year.
In addition, the showband will feature two young performers, Zach Williams, age 10 of Blanchard and 7 year-old, Carson Davis of Middleberg. Both musicians, a singer and guitar-player respectively, are students of Settlemires.
The current line-up of the USAO Showband is Brandon Calderon, Brandon Gibson, Jason Hobbs, Mac Stephenson, Colton Neighbors, Olen Cox, Robert Glass, Dr. Tom Wicks, Katrina Bennett and Lisa Fruit.
For more information about the concert, call (405) 574-1318.