Unique. That’s only the first way to begin to describe the sound of Swing Shoe Revival.
Drawing from diverse schools of thought, the music this quartet produces is a hip, cool eclectic blend of jazz, swing, blues, latin and even rock.
Intimate, like a dark smoke-filled jazz lounge, yet invigorated with an energy that gets the dance floor hopping. “Because,” violinist Christian Lange explains, “the music is all about shaking your booty.”
“We’re drawing our inspiration from a lot of different corners,” Lange said. “You throw all those together and I think you get something akin to what was going on in France in the 1930s and 1940s with the whole ‘Hot Club de France.’ (But), it’s not really just that ... it’s mixed up with swing. It’s mixed up with a modern rock sound.”
And it’s this exotic merging of genres that can only come from a band schooled in such different musical styles as this quartet.
Ryan Flaherty, guitarist and the rugged voice behind the microphone, has his roots in rock and blues. The Chicago native toured as a solo artist across the United States and Europe for several years before founding Swing Shoe Revival with the others.
Andy Bryenton is versed in both classical and jazz and currently holds the position of First Cellist for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. “He plays it pretty aggressively,” said Lange, taking a moment to ponder how to explain Bryenton’s unique style.
“He plays it like — an upright bass at times,” he said excitedly. “And so he carries the rhythm in many cases.”
Brandon Johnson, who is also a founding member of the Knoxville Persian Music Ensemble, fuels the quartet with what the band calls a “mystical dimension” with his steady flow of hand drums of Eastern European and Asian descent.
It is, as the band describes it, “an exotic mixture of Middle Eastern flavor that balances and drives the jazzy aspects of the music.”
Then there’s Christian Lange, the madman with the violin, a description that gives him a hearty chuckle. “Yeah, that’s me.” Lange, a performing arts photographer by day, has been a part of the Knoxville music scene for years and was the man behind the violin for Blackgrass.
“Ryan and I first got together,” Lange said about the formation of the group. “We instantly clicked. I immediately knew that hell, this is a guy I really wanted to play a lot more with. So then we started playing with different folks in the community, looking at different options ... We didn’t know what we were going to do at first, but the project shaped itself in a way.”
Swing Shoe Revival, soon to be Swing Booty, will be delivering their magic at 9 p.m. tonight at the Preservation Pub in Market Square located at 22 Market Square. The Avett Brothers will also be playing, beginning at 10 p.m. For more information call 524-2224.
Revival produces eclectic sound
Published: Thu Feb 24, 2005