Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Band Is Ringer for the Big Ones

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Band Is Ringer for the Big Ones

Article excerpt

THE WOMAN behind the drive-through window at the Hardee's on Main Street in Belleville probably summed it best:

"I like that," she said, as she handed over the coffee and heard the cassette blaring. "It puts you in a good mood."

That's because local band Swing Set plays happy music, also known as the Big Band sounds of the '30s and '40s. Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman - Swing Set does them all, as well as a dozen or so original tunes done in the same spirit.

"We really liked the music of that time, that earthy sound. It's been a lot of fun for us to put our own spin on that music," explained bass player Richard Tralles. "We weren't really trying to be different - we liked the variety that swing music offered. But the fact that our sound is considered somewhat unique these days is a bonus."

Drummer Keith Roger added: "We're almost like an attraction. We're something different to do if you haven't heard us and we also have fans who seem to like to come pretty regularly to hear us."

Tonight, at Off Broadway, faithful fans and others can enjoy Swing Set at the band's first-ever cassette release party. The $10 cover includes entry to the club and a copy of the band's new tape, "Happy Birthday"which features several of the band's own songs. Anyone with a Jan. 14 birthday gets a free admission and tape.

Joining Swing Set on stage throughout the evening will be local trio Hot Club Canary and former Swing Set musicians, including founding member Jon Ferber, now with the Lettuceheads, and trombone player John Wolf.

Swing Set was formed about six years ago by Ferber and John Chiecsek, both of whom played guitar and sang. Two years later, the guitar duo expanded to include Roger and then, a few months later, Tralles and Wolf. Eventually Ferber left to finish college and join up with some pals in the Lettuceheads, who were concentrating on original, more alternative music. …

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