|"Mark Rubin &
His Ridgetop Syncopators' brand of Texas
swing is as authentic as it gets." -Austin
Well, we're a
acoustic, hot fiddle swing band with string bass, lap
steel, guitar and tenor banjo accompaniment
much like the pioneer bandleaders Milton
Brown and his Musical Brownies, Cliff
Bruner's Texas Wanderers and the Tune Wranglers.
Our repertoire comes, as it did back then, from old-time fiddle
breakdowns, tin pan alley ballads, hot jazz foxtrots, gut bucket
blues, minstrel show routines and the requisite waltz. We seem to
play quite a few Floyd Tillman numbers as well.
We play as a full 7 piece band or a trio, or anything in between
depending on your musical needs.
music for dancing foremost.
recorded "live" with no overdubs. Yup, this is what we
That's nice, but what does it sound
Visit us on MySpace for more song files!
So, where can I see y'all then?
chances are you missed us at the Kennedy
Center in Washington DC, but
you can see the whole hour long concert here if you have RealPlayer.
If you have Windows
Player, you can see this Texas swing Rendition of the Hannukah classic
12, Threadgill's Old No.1 (N.Lamar Location) 6:30-9pm
Why y'all bothering with
this old stuff?
Well, why not?
We feeling it's
our duty to keep this great Texas musical tradition as living and as
vibrant as we possibly can. Nobody here thinks they're going to make
a big tub of money, but we sure do look forward to making good friends
inspired by a conversation after a recording session with
Texas Swing legend musicians Deacon Anderson and Johnny Gimble, former Bad
founder Mark Rubin decided to form an ensemble true to the
roots of what is today called "Western Swing."
"Yeah, some guys would look at you (when you had a banjo in
the band,) and think you were square. They just didn't understand
"With the banjo in there, the rhythm just sparkles!! -Deacon
*Theres an even better story,
but we can't tell it publicly. Suffice it to say it involves alcohol
and Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson.
Syncopators comprise an aggregation of the finest local musicians
from widely divergent backgrounds. There's over 125 years of show
business experience in our ranks.
Led by Oklahoma native and Bad Livers founding member Mark Rubin the band regularly
features Sean Orr on fiddle, vocals and occasional electric
Rees on string bass. George
Carver on lap steel guitar. Mike Stinnett on Tenor Saxophone. Ben
Saffer on clarinet and arrangements.
In past shows we've had sit ins and guest spots from JD
"Junior" Penley and Dave Biller on amplified guitar, Cindy Cashdollar
and Chris Miller on lap steel and Rick McRae, Erik Hokkanen, Darcie
Deville and Walt Roberts all on fiddle!.
Our steelman George
with THE steelman Herb Remington!!
So, where you been?
To date in and around Austin Texas
mostly, with featured performances at SXSW, the Kennedy Center (09/05,)
the Calagary Folk Festival ('06,) and the Winnipeg Folk Festival ('06.)
Check out Mark's article on the Tune Wranglers
for the e-Zine
"Jumping From 6 to 6."
Syncopators, the latest project from longtime Bad Liver and local
klezmer ambassador Mark Rubin, sometimes open their sets with "Faded
Love," but please don't call them Western swing.
swing meant what those guys out in California were doing, like Spade
Cooley and Tex Williams," says Rubin by phone from his day job,
managing Violins Etc. "It was more of a genteel and urbane and uptown
kind of sound."
the geographically more specific "Texas swing," citing the "raw,
unhinged" music of semiforgotten practitioners Milton Brown and Cliff
Bruner. Further investigation led him to the Dallas String Band, an
African-American ensemble that played street corners in Deep Ellum for
tips in the Twenties.
this wide variety of tunes, like Tin Pan Alley and popular ballads and
blues," Rubin says.
Syncopators – Rubin on tenor guitar, banjo, and occasional fiddle; George
Carver on lap steel; upright bassist
clarinetist Ben Saffer; lead
fiddler Sean Orr; and
tenor saxman Mike Stinnett –likewise cherry-pick their repertoire
from sources near and far, obscure and familiar. Sometimes surprisingly
one of those Western swing bandleaders, when you asked them who their
big hero was, it wasn't Bob
Rubin says. "It was Bing