The Saddle Cats, the award-winning Western Swing band featuring the legendary steel guitarist Bobby Black, perform at 8 p.m. Thursday March 24 at the Coffee Gallery. http://www.coffeegallery.com/
The Saddle Cats are a Western Swing pocket orchestra that is enlivening Cowboy and Western Music with their infectious joy and high spirits. Named Western Swing Band of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists, the Cats are turning ears around the country with their tight, propulsive groove, brilliant instrumentals and warm vocal stylings. 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, polka and just about any traditional American style under the sun.
The Saddle Cats have at their heart the elegant artistry of Bobby Black, whose luminous steel guitar poetry has inspired generations of musicians and fans. A musical legend whose career began in the honky-tonk era of Hank Williams, Bobby was a key figure in the rediscovery of Western Swing in the 1960s and '70s. His presence in seminal bands like Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen and Asleep at the Wheel was decisive in introducing the sound of Western Swing to a whole new generation of listeners.
Bobby is joined by fiddler and vocalist Richard Chon, a veteran of the Bakersfield honky-tonk scene and a sideman with the Sons of the San Joaquin, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, and Bruce Forman’s Cowbop. 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. Their sound has been likened to a cowboy chamber group – combining warmth and flexibility with exuberance and staggering technical accomplishment.
The driving rhythm of guitarist Gordon Clegg and the eloquent, rock-solid foundations laid by bassist Bing Nathan support and energize this silver-toned cowboy outfit, whose debut album “Herdin’ Cats!” was named Western Swing Album of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists and has earned rapturous notices from critics and radio programmers across the country.
A favorite of music critics across the country, recipients of spontaneous standing ovations at the Western Music Association Showcase, the Cats have definitely served notice that they are “out of the bag” and prepared to provide terrific entertainment to Western audiences everywhere.