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Vagabond Swing comes to Bryan

Band with Lousiana roots mixes jazz, bluegrass, gypsy swing and Afrobeat

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

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Vagabond Swing comes to Bryan

Band with Lousiana roots mixes jazz, bluegrass, gypsy swing and Afrobeat

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A circus of sound is hitting the stage Saturday at Revolution Café, promising a high-energy musical performance meant to please the senses. Lafayette-based band Vagabond Swing blends an array of music genres to produce circus rock — progressive gypsy swing tunes with a circus vibe.

Band member Jon Stone, a vocalist and mandolin player, said Vagabond Swing’s distinct sound comes from the fusion of each band member’s own musical backgrounds and inspirations. The genres include folk, bluegrass, punk, ska, classical and jazz.

“We all have our own personal likes in music,” Stone said. “We each have different musical inspirations, but you could describe our music as a cross between Les Claypool, Coco Bordello and Frank Zappa.”

Bryan Le, senior applied mathematics major, appreciates the harmony of Vagabond Swing’s music despite the number of musicians, instruments and radical differences in backgrounds.

“It’s definitely quite a spectacle to see that many band members perform different instruments to create such a sound that’s unique yet familiar,” Le said. “I would go see them in a show.”

Vagabond Swing has a reputable history, having played with bands such as Ghostland Observatory, Dead Kenny G’s, Tea Leaf and GIVERS, among others.

Vagabond Swing released its first full-length album, “Soundtrack to an Untimely Death,” in 2011. The album is considered a multipart gypsy ballad as it is split into a five-chapter story of love and murder that is at times playful and other times serious.

Right now, Vagabond Swing is touring on the road, an adventure Stone said has its perks but also some disadvantages.

“For me it’s a blast — traveling around. It’s a dream come true. It’s also challenging at times, like when we have to eat out of a cooler,” Stone said.

The band will make a stop in Downtown Bryan at Revolution Café this Saturday night, but not for the first time.

“We’ve played at Revolution several times before,” Stone said. “I think last time we played there, it was my birthday. The crowd was really great and we had a good turnout.”

Abby Richardson, senior political science major, said she can’t wait to see the performance.

“[Their music] has to be the best thing ever,” Richardson said. “It’s smart people music. It requires a certain knowledge of jazz, a knowledge of blues — you have to know what ska is and other things to appreciate it. I think that’s why it’s eccentric in such a good way.”

She also said that the band’s physical performance is just as much a spectacle as the accompanying music.

“The guy with the guitar has some pretty killer dance moves,” Richardson said.

Vagabond Swing will go onstage at 9 p.m. The cover charge is $5 for people 18 years and older.


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