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Arts & Culture

Big Cedar Fever: A Musical Window Into Yesteryear

Big Cedar Fever recording their album
Eric Morales
Big Cedar Fever recording their album

A San Antonio area band is plowing musical ground that has lain fallow for quite some time, and their latest album is like a window into another era. The moment you hear Big Cedar Fever, you may feel transported to that era [see video below]. Georgia Parker plays guitar and sings in the trio.

"I had never heard anything quite like Western swing and it just drew me in," she said. "You couldn't help but wanna dance to it, and [it seemed to come] from a time and place that seemed unreal."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vm7-Xl1FkU&feature=emb_logo

It's called Western or Texas Swing music, a genre that had its heyday in the 1930s and 1940s. As to describing it, that's pretty hard to nail down. 

"A country cousin of Dixieland jazz and it's truly American music," Parker said.

IMG_0794.jpg
Credit Megan LaPrelle
Big Cedar Fever

Her fascination with it started at the Kerrville Folk Festival, but not from hearing it being performed there. Instead, it was a chance meeting she had there.

"Someone that I had just met in passing handed me three burned CDs of Western Swing music," she said.

She went deep into the Western Swing rabbit hole for the next few months, devouring as much as she could find, and researching its history. During that period she found two others who shared her fascination.

"At the time, it seemed like we were the only three people around that cared about Western swing. So we just started out playing in a little one off restaurant gigs and stuff," she said.

Success has followed and recently they recorded their first album. They recorded 12 songs, but just when they thought they were done, there was a little bit of studio time left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC-ifzG5G8Y&feature=emb_logo

"And in at the last minute we know we had time for one more song and we recorded it and it became our title track," she said. 

COVID-19 has their public playing at a standstill, but they continue to try to connect with the audience they’ve acquired in the last two and a half years. The album becomes available on their website on Sept. 4. 

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

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