Denver dance band offers blues, swing, rockabilly at its live Steamboat show
October 16, 2009
When the members of Denver jump blues band The Informants decided to put together a set of originals and covers inspired by their favorite music from the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, they didn’t intend to “create a ‘show,'” lead singer Kerry Pastine said.
But put a seven-piece band that happens to like raunchy blues and raunchier jokes on the same stage, and a show is going to happen.
“We just have this really fun show that comes out of it, so there’s a lot of animation and a lot of choreography and a lot of impromptu naughtiness that comes through the microphone, and it really reminds me of some of those ’40s- and ’50s-style shows they used to do,” Pastine said in a phone interview Thursday. Her band’s act is occasionally compared to the shtick Louis Prima perfected in the 1950s, she said.
The Informants play at 9 p.m. Saturday at Ghost Ranch Saloon. Tickets are $5 at the door. The band that helped open the Ghost Ranch in late May plans to perform its debut album, “Stiletto Angel,” during the first part of the night and follow up with its new release, “Crime Scene Queen,” Pastine said. Two songs from the new record – “Salvation,” which features Denver soul singer Hazel Miller, and “Get Twisted” – are streaming at http://www.exploresteamboat.com.
Pastine got a taste for the kind of music The Informants play – a blend of rockabilly, dance blues and sauced-up swing – from her father, a big-band guitarist who got his musical footing in the 1930s and ’40s.
“I just got it. I liked anything that was big band, anything that was swing, jump blues, that whole juke joint boogie sound – I just loved it,” Pastine said. It wasn’t long after Informants bassist Mac McMurray saw Pastine singing with a Denver rockabilly band for the first time that he established The Informants.
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“Mac would stop by and check us out, and I think he just decided, ‘If they ever break up, I’m going to get that girl, I’m going to get her in a band,'” Pastine said.
McMurray credits his parents for a rich musical background full of jazz and blues, he said in a phone interview before The Informants’ show last spring at Ghost Ranch Saloon.
“A big percentage of it is, all of our parents were very much into music,” McMurray said in May. “I thank my mom and dad for having the LPs playing in the house all the time when I was a kid. My dad was a big jazz fan, and my mom played classical around the house. : I think that you kind of go back to what you knew as a kid and what you loved and may not have appreciated as fully at that point. We were exposed as a group to so many sounds early on.”
The Informants are Pastine on lead vocals, McMurray on bass, Mark Richardson on piano, Nate Nicholson on drums, Kenny Plum and Jonny Love on horns, and Paul Shellooe on guitar. Richardson also writes all the band’s original music and has 10 songs ready for a third album, Pastine said.
For a full listing of arts and entertainment events in Routt County for Saturday night and the rest of the week, look at this week’s Explore Steamboat guide or go to http://www.exploresteamboat.com.
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