About Bop Swing and Twang
When I was in my teens back in the 80's I didn't really have any interest in music. Until one day, when I saw a band called The Stray Cats appear on a TV show called Tiswas. This awoke something inside me, I found the beat and the upright thumping bass and the echoey twangy guitar exciting and captivating! That "in your face" image and style was very colorful and expressive & it made me feel alive.
What was this music? And why had I never heard it before?
I had discovered Rockabilly!
This was the beginning of a whole new chapter for me, and would lay down the foundations for the rest of my life and who and what I’m all about.
Then other bands came along, playing in a similar style, I'm sure they were already around. The Stray Cats just happened to be the band that first caught my eye. Such bands worthy of mention are The Blue Cats, The Polecats, The Jets, Restless, The Deltas and numerous other bands. But I'd be here forever listing each and every one of them.
This modern Rockabilly movement came to be known as Neo Rockabilly and just as this was gaining momentum another movement was starting to form, known as Psychobilly. This was a whole new beast and caused quite a lot of controversy with the authentic 50's crowds, I must admit, I struggled with it myself initially. It basically took elements of Rockabilly and fused it with Punk and other modern music elements.
I feel it deserves a mention here as it's roots still contain the basic Rockabilly formula, consisting of Guitar, Upright Bass and Drums, but they weren’t scared to crank up the volume and experiment. Taking it in new directions. My interest in Psychobilly at this time was pretty limited as I was still on my old school journey and I was enjoying discovering all the old Rock n Roll artists. And that’s where I stayed pretty much.
Although, there are a couple of Psychobilly bands that deserve a mention and will be covered here, such as The Reverend Horton Heat and Demented Are Go.
Of course this was just the start of my journey, I discovered how the music was born in the 50's, although the roots go back much further. This in turn got me interested in guitars. I learned about the likes of Scotty Moore, Cliff Gallup, Merle Travis and many others that will be covered as the site grows and expands.
As my knowledge grew I realized that what I was actually listening to was in fact a mutation of various other genres of music that came before, such as Country, Blues and Jazz. I began to learn about Jazz and Bebop artists such as Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. Although I loved to listen to this music, it intimidated me as a guitarist, and it's only in recent years that I've started to dabble with Jazz. I have a long way to go with that journey!
Then there is Western Swing, which is a sub-genre of American Country music which I have a particular passion for. This will be covered throughout the site but it's basically a musical genre that originates from the 1920's right to the present day, and is probably where Rock n Roll originated. Many well known artists such as Bill Haley started out playing Western Swing.
There are many incredible guitarists and musicians who were pioneers of the time. Many are long forgotten and have been left to fade into obscurity, a distant memory of time. Others are remembered and celebrated, but I fear there is a risk even they will be forgotten as the new era of quick money music is thrown down our necks, due to the likes of reality TV and instant pop stars.
What Is This Site About?
Bop Swing n Twang isn't a Rockabilly site or a Blues site or even a Jazz site. It's a site designed to celebrate all the great genres of the past that many people have long forgotten, or never even knew existed. But we're going to change all that!
This doesn't mean modern players aren't welcome here, it's how and what you play that matters. Basically, if you like to “Bop Swing n Twang”, you're most welcome.
You'll be introduced to some legendary guitarists that rarely make the lists of the great guitarists you might see on TV or hear about on the radio. Of course there are also many well known players that also deserve recognition and will be discussed here also.
It's important that the newer generations are made aware that there is a massive back catalog of "real" music out there that they are rarely afforded the opportunity to hear and enjoy.
If you share my passion for the guitar and the playing/players of the past and would like to see a particular artist/band covered here, please leave a message in the comments or drop us a line. We already have quite a comprehensive backlog of artists we'd like to cover. But as the site grows, We'll be only to happy to add more to the list.
Attention Bands And Artists
If you play in a band or are an artist and you think your music is relative to this site, please feel free to contact us. We'd be delighted to hear your music, help to promote you and help you gain some recognition in your relative genre. If we really like you we will give you your very own page, write an article or a review of your work.
Instruments And Gear
We'll also be discussing instruments and gear, feature readers and artists guitars, amps and effects etc. So if you want to show off your guitar, bring it on! I myself am a Gretsch nut, so suffice to say they will get a lot of mentions here. But that isn’t to say I'm not a lover of other guitars also. It's all good.
Education And Tuition
We'll go on a journey of learning, sharing playing tips and techniques. There's a massive resource of learning videos, software and books out there. We will have a section covering this also.
As well as the music, it is a lifestyle. There are people that live and breath it and enjoy the fashions of the various eras. So don't be too surprised if the occasional image of a classic car or bike crops up, or even a vintage pin up girl.
So, if you like old school music, whether it is Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Swing, Blues Country, Western Swing and any other genre you can think of, we'll try to cover it right here. So, what are you waiting for?