The Rear Window Listening Room is proud to present a wonderful, first class band, "Cow Bop," to the KJT Hall Stage! Be sure to take this opportunity to not only hear an award winning world class band, but to support the KJT Hall Restoration Project at the same time. Cow Bop will be playing two 45 minute sets of music with a break in between. Come out and get to know them personally and delight in their sweet old time country swing. A very special "Thank You" to Cori Hoskins at Serendepity Gifts N Blooms and Veronica Webernick of the KJT for their efforts in making this show possible!!!
Cow Bop is a phenomenal band that plays country jazz and Texas swing music. Take a listen to a couple of the you tube videos and you will get just a hint of how great this band actually is when you get to see them up close and in person. They have toured throughout the world and nationally for the past several years, and we are very fortunate to have them bringing their remarkable music to the KJT Hall Stage. This award winning band is passing through Ganado during their Texas tour.
A decade ago Bruce Forman was leading a double life. He lived in San Francisco and played bebop jazz guitar at the now-defunct Jazz at Pearl's and other clubs when not touring the world with his trio. On days when he was not making music, he traveled to the Carmel Valley, transformed himself into a cowboy and began participating in Western horseback riding competitions that measured such skills as reining, cutting, team penning and roping.
Forman, 55, points out that those activities differ from "that gladiatorial stuff you see at rodeos." "You do it at a slow speed and try not to traumatize the cattle," he says of ranch roping. One day after branding cattle, Forman noticed some cowboys singing and playing "Red River Valley" around a campfire. He picked up a guitar and joined in. "I started playing the way I normally play, rather than just the three-chord things they were doing," he explains by phone from his present home in Sierra Madre, near Pasadena. He moved there four years ago to be closer to his job as a guitar instructor at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music.
Forman recalls that after they'd finished playing, he was approached by an elderly, slow-talking cowboy who said, "You know, son, you play better than you ride." The incident led Forman to merge his two lives into one. Nine years ago he formed Cow Bop, a quintet that mixes bop and western swing, a hybrid of country music and jazz popularized by Texas fiddler Bob Wills during the 1930s and '40s. It helped that the band's vocalist, Forman's wife, Pamela (known professionally as Pinto Pammy), was as well versed in country songs as she was in swing-era standards. Alex King and Jake Reed, Cow Bop's current bassist and drummer, respectively, are both jazz musicians, while fiddler Phil Salazar played bluegrass before joining.
"You just gotta imagine Bob Wills and Bird and Diz and Django and Wes and Patsy Cline and Peggy Lee and Spike Jones all sorta locked in a closet together," the guitarist says of Cow Bop's style. "And it's got a good bit of 'Blazing Saddles.' I have to blame Mel Brooks for a good part of this band."
"Too Hick for the Room," Cow Bop's recently released third CD, includes unique renditions of Wills' "San Antonio Rose," the Sons of the Pioneers' "Cool Water," the Patti Page hit "Tennessee Waltz, the Willie Nelson-penned Patsy Cline classic "Crazy" and such other standards as "Besame Mucho," "Anytime," "Comes Love," "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" and "Alabamy Bound." Forman's arrangement of "San Antonio Rose" incorporates elements of Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser." The disc's one instrumental, "El Cumbanchero," a Puerto Rican number popularized by Desi Arnaz in the 1946 film "Cuban Pete," is given a heavy Dizzy Gillespie infusion, including quotes from "A Night in Tunisia" and a full chorus of his breakneck-tempo tune titled "Bebop."
"There's a lot more bebop and modern jazz harmony in the way we weave our way through tunes that Bob Wills may have played," Forman says. "It's very much not an attempt to be a retro band or a museum piece. As much as we love and honor that music and consider it part of our roots, there is no attempt to re-create that. We just use that as a foundation.
"We draw on that basic beat, which is somewhere between a swing two-beat and a polka. We use that as our basic springboard. We'll shift gears and go to a Count Basie-style groove or to Max Roach and Philly Joe Jones straight-ahead bebop. "It's the ultimate American fusion in a lot of ways," adds Forman, who was born in Springfield, Mass., spent his childhood in Dallas and relocated to San Francisco as a teenager. "Instead of looking at rock and jazz, we decided to take straight-ahead jazz, swing jazz and western music and put 'em all together, to the chagrin of many people but to the delight of more."
Cow Bop has delighted fans across the United States at jazz and cowboy festivals, clubs and restaurants (including road trips along Route 66 doing impromptu gigs in exchange for meals and tips at various venues) and on tours of France and New Zealand.
KJT Hall (View)
1433 Loop 522
Ganado, TX 77962