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Swinging Into A New Season Of 'Live At Jazz, TX'

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Nathan Cone
/
TPR
Meg Bodi (left), singing with Doc Watkins and his Orchestra.

“I immediately felt like this is where I was supposed to be,” says singer Meg Bodi, of the first time she sang with Doc Watkins and his Orchestra at Jazz, TX. You can find her most nights the big band is on the stand at the club, and in Austin where she lives and sings with the country outfit Finger Pistol.

With her tattooed arms and retro-girlish dress style, Bodi is a great visual counter to the tailored suits and horns, and her joyous voice blends perfectly with Doc Watkins on their duets like “Home In San Antone” and “Faded Love,” which you can hear in this week’s set (link below).

Bodi began singing at an early age, but took a break while in college. “We didn’t have a musical theater program at my school,” she explains. “So for a long time I didn't sing at all in front of people except once in a while hopping up to do some karaoke. And karaoke is actually how I was asked to be in Finger Pistol, and then Finger Pistol is how I was asked to sing for Doc. So it's been a really fortunate series of events that led me to singing in front of people again!”

Also on this week’s show, Doc and the band serve up “One Mint Julep,” and pay tribute to the Count Basie Orchestra with “Splanky,” a simple tune that is nonetheless the epitome of Basie swing—and functional as well, explains Doc.

“The Basie band would play sometimes eight hours at a time, you know? With 10 minute breaks on the hour. They'd start at you know 8:00 in the evening and play till 4 in the morning!” Doc says. “They had to just sit there and play blues together for eight hours, six nights a week, without any sheet music in front of them. And I think that really conditioned them to learn how to play together. So we love to play “Splanky,” and I think the fellas do a tremendous job of capturing the essence of that swing.”

Hear for yourself in the Soundcloud link below, or Saturday night at 7:00 on Texas Public Radio’s “Live At Jazz, TX.”

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.