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Swingin’ Fiddles show has something for all

Scott Woods and his band bring their Swinging Fiddles show to Fort Macleod and District Community Hall on Saturday, June 15.

Scott Woods and his band bring their Swinging Fiddles show to Fort Macleod and District Community Hall on Saturday, June 15.

Swingin’ Fiddles is the focus of the new variety show Scott Woods will present Saturday, June 15 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
Woods and his band will perform in Fort Macleod for the fifth consecutive year, this time as a fund-raiser for the handibus society and Holy Cross Church.
The band has performed its Swingin’ Fiddles show about 40 times on this tour — to great response.
“This swing music, people just love,” Woods said. “They don’t hear these tunes, certainly played with fiddles. It’s a very unique sound with thick rich harmony but very sweet and lyrical. The response has been very good.”
Woods developed a love for swing music as a child when he listened to his father’s band play the songs in Big Band style with saxophones, trombones, bass, trumpets, drums and piano.
“My dad loved Big Band music,” Wood said. “When I was growing up they played these tunes with the horns. I learned them. I knew the melodies, I knew the tunes.”
Woods has had it in his mind for a while to develop a show with a distinct swing flavour.
Woods loves swing music because it is catchy, the harmonies and chord progressions are beautiful — and it’s fun to play.
“We’re taking the old swing tunes and we have rewritten those musical arrangements for three fiddles in three-part harmony,” Woods said. “We mix that with our regular traditional country and western swing and Don Messer-style fiddle music and step dancing.”
The Fort Macleod audience will hear standards such as Red Red Robin, Yes Sir That’s My Baby, Melody of Love, Girl of My Dreams and That Waltz You Saved for Me.
The Swingin’ Fiddles show includes Big Band music, pop standards, country tunes, western swing and gospel.
“Swing music is just so happy. You can’t be in a bad mood and play swing music. It’s kind of like fiddle music. I guess that’s why it’s a good fit for the fiddles. It is fun, happy music.”
The band on tour right now includes Woods’ mother Carolyn Woods, his nephew Ben Norris, champion fiddler and step dancer Emily Yarascavitch, and drummer Wes Diamond.
Ronan Kunkel, who plays with the family band at Great Canadian Barn Dance, will give the show a hint of local flavour.
In addition to the great music, the show features homespun comedy and Scott Woods’ trick fiddling — he plays behind his back, through his legs, while standing on and rolling a barrel and while doing a front somersault.
“It’s a very well-rounded show,” Woods said. “It’s a true variety show. You don’t have to be a fiddle fan. You don’t have to be a country music or swing music fan. There’s a little something for everyone.”
Woods is a two-time winner of the Canadian Open Fiddle Contest, and also twice won the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championships. He was also named Canadian Fiddle Entertainer of the Year.
Woods has competed and performed across Canada and in the U.S. and Europe and for seven years was musical director and played the lead role in Memories of Don Messer’s Jubilee during an extensive tour of Canada.
Those experiences have reinforced Woods’ belief that fiddle music and old-time songs resonate with people.
“They know all of this music and it’s nice for them to be able to hear it again.”
The Scott Woods Band is also introducing new generations to fiddle music and popular old-time songs.
The band often performs for fund-raisers such as the one in Fort Macleod organized by Harvey Bourassa.
“Certainly we cater primarly to a seniors’ market with the type of music we play. That’s generally the type of people we attract, but we are seeing more younger people.”
Those young people might come to support the worthy cause, but they leave with new-old songs in their heads.
“The younger folks are saying, the music is actually really good. We enjoy this music. It’s fun. That’s a real compliment to us.”
Wood and his band have crossed western Canada at least 30 times in the last 25 years, but they still enjoy touring.
“The crowds still love to see our show and hear our music,” Woods said. “Most importantly, when we play this music they enjoy it. We’re still living the dream for musicians, to be travelling and performing every night.”
For tickets call Harvey Bourassa at 403-553-3822; Charlotte Balkham at 403-553-3191; Annett Seymour at 403-625-4118; Joyce Bonertz at 403-627-2434; Bill and Norma Bust at 403-653-2084; Elaine Erick at 403-553-3147; Travis Doyle at 403-553-2437; Bob and Linda Ripley at 403-553-3871; or Blanche and Rick Lemire at 403-627-2363.

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