. . . are a Western Swing pocket orchestra that is enlivening Cowboy and
Western Music with infectious joy and high spirits. With a
repertoire that draws from the rich tapestry of traditional American
music, this four-piece ensemble embraces the worlds of swing, cowboy
ballads, blues, Tin Pan Alley, honky-tonk, string band music, polka
and just about any traditional style under the sun.
The Saddle Cats have at their
heart the suave, elegant artistry of Bobby Black, whose steel guitar
poetics have inspired generations of musicians and fans. A
revered figure in the music world whose roots go straight back to
the honky-tonk era of Hank Williams and Lefty Frizell, Bobby was a key
figure in the rediscovery of Western Swing in the 1960s and '70s. His
membership in such bands as Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen
and Asleep at the Wheel was decisive in introducing the sound of
Western Swing to a new generation of listeners.
Bobby is joined by fiddler and vocalist Richard Chon (Dan Hicks and
the Hot Licks, the Sons of the San Joaquin and a veteran of the
Bakersfield honky tonk scene). Together, Bobby and Richard form the
nucleus of a Western Swing combo that uncannily recreates the textures and
drive of the Western Swing bands of the golden era.
The driving rhythm of guitarist Hank Maninger and the eloquent, rock-solid foundations laid by bassist Bing Nathan support and energize this sleek, silver-toned cowboy outfit, whose repertoire runs from rustic Texas breakdowns to the sophisticated swing concoctions of Benny Goodman and Count Basie, from the high-driving California swing of Bob Willsí Tiffany Transcriptions and Tex Williams to their own stylish originals.
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Richard Chon, fiddle and vocals
John Nichols, guitar
Bing Nathan, bass