Stop The Clock Western Swing Cowboy Jazz Band
Feed and Seed
106 North Grant Street
March 2, 2014
A 9 Piece All-Star band with 2 female vocalists
Charlene Howard (vocals), Kelly Feehan (vocals), Kurt Boudreaux (behind Kelly, keyboard), Kenny Menard (fiddle), Lee Tedrow (guitar), Buck Buckelew (fiddle), Wayne Le Blanc (drums), David Greely (fiddle), Gary Newman (upright bass), Ted Broussard (guitar), Joe Rogers (steel guitar)
The two regular guitar players are Sam Broussard and Gary Granger.
Yet another reason to head to Lafayette, Louisiana...a cowboy jazz band playing classic Western Swing tunes from Bob Wills, Cindy Walker, Spade Cooley, Fats Waller, Hank Thompson, Ray Price, and Patsy Cline, among others. A collection of musicians and vocalists got together a few months ago to play this fabulous music the first Sunday every month. Whoooeeee, are they fun!
Stop The Clock indeed. They stop you in your tracks with infectious, playful, dance your boots off tunes from the golden age of western swing, which, in a music-crazy city like Lafayette, will never feel dated.
I doubt that they play together any more than this one Sunday a month but muscians of this caliber figure out how to play together - and with pizazz - in a hurry. They take their solos, adding onto whatever the guy before just played, and add their own touch, often making the others chuckle and grin. If you're a dancer, this band holds up to the best cajun, zydeco, or honky tonk bands in town (heck, some of the musicians on stage play with those bands).
Let me tell you. This band swings big time and it’s been duly noted around here. Only six months since inception, they’ve been asked to open this year’s Festival International de Louisiane, a premier festival drawing bands from all over the world. Impressive.
Gary Newman, the man who wound up Stop The Clock Cowboy Jazz Band
“I came up with the name because I wanted something to indicate that there is timeless music out there that needs to be played and enjoyed. Fortunately, we live in Lafayette, where the people really appreciate and know how to enjoy good music. And we enjoy playing it too! It seems like it's catching on, as each gig draws more and more people,” chief clock winder Gary Newman says.
Newman’s inspirations for STC are Asleep At The Wheel, who’s been at it for a long time and The Time Jumpers. “They’re the best band out there, top of the line Nashville musicians and friends of mine,” Newman says.
"...People who come to the Feed and Seed to listen and dance to our music help to create a magical, wonderful scene from the past. Kind of like we stopped the clock somewhere around 1949."
These guys have pedigrees. They’re members of Mamou Playboys, Nouveau String Band, Traiteurs, Louisiana Purchase Bluegrass, The Gary Granger Project/ODYSSSEY, The Twangsters Union, among others. Western Swing wouldn't have the same twang without a steel guitar, Joe Rogers makes the most of his solos.
Buck Buckelew (fiddle) does most of the song introductions. They play for a solid three hours with one 20-minute break. A free bowl of jambalaya comes with a $10 admission charge. C’mon, what a deal.
Tonight is the biggest crowd in the bands history since September, pretty amazing considering this is Mardi Gras week and there are a ton of other places people could be going tonight. Great energy.
Vocalist Kelly Feehan, the daughter of Kenny Menard (guitar/vocals), has never sung on stage before last September. “I never sang before except in church. My dad asked if I wanted to join the band. He thought a younger crowd would like the music and having a younger singer would be a drawing card,” Kelly says.
My guess is that after STC hits the stage at the Festival International de Louisiane the younger dance crowd will find them. Kelly can belt or croon - she's a great addition to the band. Good idea, Kenny!
Holy smoke, I just realize that Charlene Howard is singing with Kelly. I'd heard she sings with TK Hulin and had been looking to find them play. She has great pipes, can cover everything from R&B to Soul to Country to Swing. It would have been great had I captured a video of "Sweet Memories" she sang with Kelly and Kenny, sweet harmonies.
Stop The Clock can raise the roof when they get crankin' it up. I believe the Feed and Seed building was a former granary and suppy depot - a perfect venue for a Western Swing Band! That's David Greely taking a solo. Greely, Sam Broussard, Kurt Boudreaux, and Charlene Howard are established single acts.
Ted Broussard takes a solo; Kenny Menard and Buck Buckelew sing. Lafayette is a music-loving town, people here know good music when they hear it, whether it's Cajun, or zydeco, or now, Western swing.
Wayne Le Blanc (drums) and Kurt Boudreaux (keyboard) out of view behind the front line, add two powerful elements to the sound. Gary Newman anchors the beat on his stand-up bass.
Kurt has a fan club. “Kurt Boudreaux is the best keyboard player in the world,” a fellow standing behind me says as I shoot video. A minute after that, Kurt calls out a rumba for the second to last song of the night. I put down my camera, find a fabulous partner, and bust all the rumba moves I learned in my sessions at my local Fred Astaire Dance Studio. People applaud after we finish. Kurt’s playful rendition kept me right on the beat.
PARTIAL SET LIST (not in order)
Outskirts of town
Milk Cow Blues
Shame On You
Right or wrong
Blues for Dixie
Smile - Charlie Chaplin
Waltz across Texas
Bottle Baby Boogie
There Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens
My Blue Heaven
Photos and Videos by Paul A. Tamburello, Jr.