Big Band Swing weeked 2014
I am just getting back from our annual trip to Ashville, NC, where we attended the Big Band Swing weekend. For those who have read past blogs on this event, you know that the Grove Park Resort hosts three days of dancing for enthusiasts of music from the Big Bang Era. Dancers (and listeners) have a chance to dress up and attend a Ball that is very much like what we see in the movies. Huge dance floors, lots of people and bands that feature brass, percussion, piano and singers belting out standards that have been popular in American music for almost one hundred years.
This year the featured band was the NC Revelers Orchestra out of Raleigh, NC. They describe themselves as a show and dance band in the tradition of the great touring bands of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Les Brown and others. I found this promotional video of them so that you can get a feel for their style of music.
This was our second time seeing this band at the event. So often bands of this nature stick to a certain style of song, which I find limited when it comes to dancing. Normally you can expect music for swing dancing, foxtrot and waltzes. Sometimes they throw you a bone and play a Latin number for a cha-cha or rumba. The NC Revelers changed things up quite a bit, they played a samba within the first 15 minutes of the evening, with a second played in the last part of the evening. What makes that special is that this is not the norm for this type of band’s set list. They also announced that they would take requests, which was another nice nod to those of who prefer some variety. I was very pleased with their direction and hope that this may be the start of something good for other bands of this type.
If you have never been to Asheville, NC, you are missing out on a big little city that is full of culture and fun activities to explore. The city hosts several art galleries and antique shops, which is reason alone for some people to visit. Another big thing that most people may not know, is that Asheville is also known for its restaurants and specialty bars, with numerous restaurants that cater those who suffer from food allergies. Posana Café is always on the list of places to eat. They have this Lobster Mac & Cheese that is always a favorite. The menu changes seasonally, so I always make an effort to try new items. This year we kept hearing of this new Double Decker coffee bus that was very popular. I am not a coffee drinker, so it was not one of the places I was interested in trying. For those who do like coffee, you may want to take a look if you find yourself in the area.
If you of other Swing Bands that play in or around North Carolina, leave your comments below.