Badlands (1973) - Love is Strange
A new demo we are working on ! “Are You Guilty?” a Swamp Pop Doo Wop ! A perfect example of our feelings that SMP is a retro futuristic swamp band. We love the “1980’s Future” and the 80’s revival of the 50’s. We like to think of an alternative future of new modern 50’s and 70’s music.
RJ Comer “Smothered” , RJ this boy is swamp ! I don’t care what kind of car he might drive!
A Walk Through Swamp Land… Meet SWAMP MUSIC PLAYERS !
If you are a music junkie as I am, then Twitter is a perfect place to be. 140 characters is more than enough to get introduced to wonderfull sounds and their makers. Lots of established stars, lots of unknowns and lots of wannabees too. A daily party for music addicts. And one day you discover something or somebody and you get stuck. That’s what happened when I came across… Swamp Music. An unfamiliar music genre to my ears, although I had this vague idea that it had something to do with the ‘blues’, simply because almost any kind of music is connected to the blues somehow. Anyway, I wanted to broaden my musical horizon and got in touch with some experts in that field called… Swamp Music Players. Who? A gonzo swamp pop collective/band of local musical personalities, pros, semi-pros and flop house heroes based in Victoria, Canada. They all have their love for Swamp Pop, Blues and Southern Roots Rock in common. Who are those individuals with those crazy nicknames… let them introduce themselves and have a walk through Swamp Land with the Players afterwards…
Earl Jr Jackson Black … jazz drummer/percussionist
“Music is my life, I have been drumming and teaching for over 20 years. I’ve been in several successful bands and projects but Swamp Music Players taps into my love for Southern music. I often make musical pilgrimages around the world and visits to places like Nashville are memorable.”
FanBoat Captain… jazz bass guitarist…
“I was raised on music and fed on love so I am a free thinking and bass swinging, honest man who just wants to play free.”
Deja-Drew… pianist and main composer of Swamp Music Players…
“ I’m a classically trained pianist that has become with Swamp Music Players an Americana composer and performer. I never chose the swamp, it chose me. I was born in America but came to Canada soon after, I feel a deep spiritual bond with my homeland that I have rarely seen”
Don ‘Danger’ Jon… former book dealer who became an all round member…
“I’m a manager who, due to circumstances, became a lyricist and a blues-hypeman. Completely a non-musician, my love for ‘Swamp’ was just a hazey childhood memory for some old swamp vinyls from my grandfather I barely met. I would listen to them a winter we had no TV. A few AWOL artists at a couple shows and recordings lead to my producing, writing and performing live… wow.”
Miss Alias Dimagiba… amateur musician, experience mostly church and open mics…
“My grandfather introduced me to Filipino Blues, my mother introduced me to 80’s Pop, Soul and Christian gospel music, my youngest uncle introduced alternatives and pop rock from USA and foreign countries. I love diversity and that is why I love Swamp music, that’s what happens when someone puts passion into action.”
$wamp Machine… alt rocker from the scene…
“I’m a country boy from Alberta, multi-instrumentalist playing ‘alternative rock’ in local bands most of my life. Haven’t been on the ground for the good word, but hey, what’s going to be moving our snakeskin shit kickers ahead is plenty of Budweiser. A touch of mojo-sparking soul-filling voodoo-blues-handling jangle-jam shakeups and breakdowns.”
Hello Swamp Gang… how would you describe ‘Swamp Music’ for laymen?
Don ‘Danger’ Jon: “Swamp Music is a canopy over several genres but I like to define it as where Blues, Country, Funk and Rock’n’Roll emerged but still very much influenced by each other. I think something was lost when Rock lost the Roll, the Blues was citified and Country went its own way. The swamp genres are like the libidinal heartbeat of what made music great.”
PythonAriff: ”Swamp music players play music that is from the swamp. Swamp music is folks who have a history in blues, country and rockabilly, it’s the history man.”
Earl: "The Beatles loved ‘Swamp Pop’ with their song ‘Oh Darling’, Rolling Stones covering Slim Harpo and Robert Plant toured with the Lil Band of Gold so the hugely influential artists know its importance.”
Where and when were the Swamp Music Players conceived?
Don ‘Danger’ Jon: “The Swamp Music Players came out of a low rent call centre July 4th, 2010 on a mean street in the otherwise lovely touristy city of Victoria, Canada. Lots of dispirited musicians and artists trying to make ends meet. I put together a show for my Louisiana pen pal ‘Danielle Leigh Rashall’ to raise learning supplies for her retraining as a Boiler Rigger (she is our main poster girl to this day… ‘Swamp Girl’). The cafe went very well by Victoria standards so a loose collective with a rotational lineup was born and became slowly a real band over the next year and a half. Swamp Music Players has gone on to have national and international spins on FM radio, a growing international fanbase and getting to work with some amazing artists.”
Louisiana/Texas model, photographer and painter Danielle… the Swamp Girl…
How come the genre varies geographically?
Don ‘Danger’ Jon: “I think Swamp Music is a collection of genres that emerged spontaneously across the South. I guess you could narrow some of it down. Swamp Blues was very much influenced by Nashville Excello recording company whose many of its most famous artists were mostly African Americans from Louisiana. Swamp Pop came from Cajuns and Creole adopting popular rock & roll through their own influences but later Swamp Pop was more a reflection of popular R&B pollinated by the competitive and vibrant New Orleans music venues. The British invasion made Southern Blues cool again and Canadian ‘The Band’ and California ‘CCR’ meant Roots Rock and Swamp Rock lead the charge in popular music for a decade. It really is a bubbling cauldron of gumbo!”
Deja-Drew: "Swamp is where the heart is…"
Exploring Swamp Music in the past few weeks I discovered artists such as The Blue Valentines and Wily Bo Walker. Is there a spiritual brother/sister feel between Swamp Music Artists?
Earl: “Hell yeah…”
$wamp Machine: “There is certainly such a connection between all Swamp artists.”
Miss Alias Dimagiba: “Totally. You know, after every rehearsal, Captain, Earl and I would talk openly about topics like spirituality, politics, philosophy and some topics that we find really observant. So pretty much Captain and Earl are like my spiritual brothers.”
Fanboat Captain: “Yes, partly has to do with the ‘feel’ of the Music, and I would add… the guts of the Musician.”
Don ‘Danger’ Jon: “Without the morale support of bands like ‘RJ Comer’ , ‘The Mighty Pelicans’ and ‘Wily Bo Walker’ we might have given up before discovering everything that has happened for us since!”
Wily Bo Walker….
I’m quite curious about the amazing comic on the website. Swamp Music and comics? What’s the story?
Don ‘Danger’ Jon: “Its common for Swamp Artists to really adore illustrations. Many are really into designing their own tattoos and getting into comic book art. We are really excited about our first comic series, ‘The Massacre In The Piney Woods’ , the story of a hard-boiled Jazz drummer ‘Earl’ and a showgirl ‘Bijou’ on the lam from gangsters and the law with only his band of outlaw swamp musicians! The artist Snezana (Zhana D’Arte) is a proffesional painter and illustrator that I knew from my days as a book dealer in Eastern Europe. I have a great love for Swamp culture but we both shared a love for classic ‘Film Noir’ style of femme fatales and desperate situations. I do the story-boarding and I am the main writer. Marcus Oppenheimer an aboriginal, experienced grant and proposal writer, serves as the editor and contributor to the writing.”
What can we expect from Swamp Music Players in 2014?
Don ‘Danger’ Jon: “We hope to acquire the necessary funds to release our 2nd and much more ambitious album ‘Timeless Cool’ (note: debut album ‘Swamp Music Players’ was released in 2012, see also below). Amazingly artists like RJ Comer, Wily Bo Walker, Jospeh Gearheart, Katie Shorey and Captain James Murphy have offered to collaborate on that new album! We’re talking to some notable producers and also the local British Columbia music industry is starting to take notice. We are already working on a digital-only EP of originals with a Swamp Ufology theme! A radio drama and another comic based in The Balkans is also being discussed. 2014 is gearing up to be amazing! Oh… and listen to the France based online radio station RKC… they give us a lot of exposure in Europe…
Thank you all for this journey and introducing us to Swamp Camp! Now let’s have some of that Swamp Music…
Swamp Music Players’ debut album is available here…
The self-titled debut album released in 2012…
Links to the Band:
© Music Is The Dope - January 25, 2014
Listen/purchase: Weeping Dynamite by Swamp Music Players
On Bandcamp! This is one of the new tracks by Swamp Music Players, a sneak peek at our 2014 album “Timeless Cool” which will include the players as well as allied entertainers from Canada, USA and the UK. Some truly great artists are featured on our album of Americana, Southern Roots Rock, Blues and Swamp Pop. SMP is best described as a revival of that brief time in the 80’s when the music of past decades was the height of cool. We love the idea of a retro-futuristic view of old time music.
Getting some spins in France and some hits on youtube for our New Orleans style blues track “Quicksand Swamp Blues”
So excited about this new SMP track that has seen FM radio play in Germany! Southern Roots Rock, Alternative Country Rock, however you slice it Matt S Franke did a great job in his collaboration with SMP. We have the track on Bandcamp so please purchase!
Listen/purchase: Weeping Dynamite by Swamp Music Players
Announcement from the Swamp Music Players about our new album “Timeless Cool” and breakfast at White Spot! Jon Dude Dowdall and Don Danger Jon from SMP.