Wednesday, 21 March 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
On Saturday, the Texas Western Swing Fiddling Band held their 16th annual showcase at the Bell County Expo Center.
"This is all about keeping the Texas Western Swing heritage alive," said band member Dave Alexander, who is in his 14th year playing. "The music was born here."
Western Swing originated in the late 1920s in the southwest of Texas. It pulls from music including country, jazz, and western.
The days' set included performances from six talented musicians: three-time Grammy nominee Dave Alexander who leads the Western Swing Band and holds the 2004 Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame Male Vocalist of the Year award. Ricky Turpin a two-time Grammy winner and private fiddle instructor, Bobby Flores a 2002 Grammy award winner who has been featured on over 300 albums and performs with artists on major labels,
Royda and Barry Frazier singing a heartfelt gospel song, The Lake Travis Fiddlers who's money from performances help to fund the orchestra activities for Lake Travis Middle School, and first time Western Showcase performer Brook Deaton who has been playing the fiddle/ violin since she was 5 years old.
In-between a performance, Alexander recognized Bob Bearden, a D-Day Veteran and author of the memoir "To D-Day and back: Adventures with the 507th Infantry Regiment and Life as a World War II POW."
The audience gave him a well-deserved standing ovation, and the music continued throughout the night.
A new Western Swing fan came from Salado to see the showcase for the first time and was very pleased.
"It's definitely different, but I enjoyed it," James Barnett said. "I'm having a lot of fun. I heard about it from a friend who was coming today and decided to give it a chance and I'm glad I did."
With a crowd of about 200 people of all ages, returning and new guests, wonderful musicians, and plenty of dancing, the event went just as well as expected.
For more information about the Texas Western Swing Heritage Association, or next year's showcase go to www.texaswesternswing.com.