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Band Review

The Swamp Boogie Band
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Band Review:

I saw a band at the Savannah in West Lake on Saturday. The Savannah is a great bar to see a band, especially if you like to dance. It has a nice stage and lighting and a decent dance floor. They typically feature decent bands and have established a reputation for that.

The bands name is The Swamp Boogie Band. Deceptively they don’t play any Cajun music. They get the name from the lead singer who is nicknamed “Swamp” as opposed to “Marsh” or Marsha. She is an excellent singer easily on par with Mary Bridgette Davies which is very rare. She also played a mean harmonica and frequently played auxiliary percussion like cowbell and tambourine. The PA consisted of a pair of JBL 2x15 + 1 Horn towers which absolutely rocked. The more I hear JBL’s the more impressed I become. They used a powered mixer that was plenty beefy although I couldn’t determine the brand. Everything was mic’ed. The mix was good although the keys were too high in the mix and the guitar too low but they invested zero sound check time. They just started playing a song. Swamp walked out front for a second. Went back to the mixer made a few minor adjustments and that was it. Everybody but the drummer sang and their harmonies were very good. They didn’t play the most complicated music but they were very solid, knew how to work an audience, were as professional as can be, and most importantly they where just plain fun. I would highly recommend a band outing to see them for educational purposes or just going to see them to have a great time.

The keyboard player was awesome and she could really sing great too. She was playing what looked like a Korg Triton Extreme through a Roland keyboard amp. Her rig sounded great. She used one sound all night long, the piano, but she could really play.

The drummer’s fills would come and go unnoticed but he played the beats with such energy and enthusiasm he was truly the drive behind the music. He was in absolute lock step with the bass player. He was playing what appeared to be a 5 piece Ludwig set, black finish, with a Zildgian ride and crash.

The bass player was playing what looked like an Ibanez SR series bass with an Ampeg B2R amp head and an Ampeg, possibly 1x15, cabinet. He was a decent singer and fronted several songs but the most important part was how energetically he played and how in sync he was with the drummer.

The guitar player played a lime green Stratocaster though a tweed 4x10 Fender Deville. He had his amp set up so he was clean but crunchy and played with that sound all night. No effects and only once did I actually see him switch on his distortion. He was a decent player who fit the band well although he was way down in the mix and you had to really listen to hear him. He sang too and fronted a couple songs.

I should have taken better notes on the songs they performed because I felt their set list was excellently crafted. They played a mix of Rock and Blues and even threw in a couple ballads like At Last. They started out playing at least the first ten songs at a good dance beat and managed to keep the dance floor full. Afterwards they played several ballads before turning the energy back up before their first break. I would guess they have the formula worked out to a science. They did play Fire by The Boss. They played several Allman Bros tunes, a number of blues standards, and some Stones.