From the opening bars of the first song you know right were you are. You’re back in the western swing sounds of the 1940s. This seven piece play vintage instruments to recreate a sound that was happening in dance halls across Texas and beyond in post second world war America. They play in the Pacific Northwest but will be touring in the UK and Ireland next year and should be a joy to behold if you are in the least interested in hearing the music of that era recreated with energy and devotion.
The songs are a mix of classic, lesser know songs and originals. The songs that many will know who are acquainted with the music are the likes of Snatchin’ And Grabbin’, Roped And Tied, Jelly Roll Blues and Brain Cloudy Blues. If you liked the music of that era alongside current interpertations by Wayne Hancock and others like Davy Jay Sparrow or Johnny Dilks then you will, doubtless, be tapping you foot to this talented ensemble. Vocalist Bret Ervin Lien fits the bill with that slightly nasal delivery that perfectly suits the songs. Having said that there are several instrumentals here where Lien can sit down and take a breather.
Truth is that The Barn Door Slammers are the latest in a line of contemporary exponents whose love of performing and playing western swing and jazz-tinged honky tonk is apparent to all who see and hear them. There are immersed in an earlier era musically and as such don’t pretend to be doing anything new, rather they are extending the life of musical form that will always have its ardent fans and exponents. It is never going to be the next big thing but that is beside the point. It is a music that should be heard live in a dance floor environment as much as with the recorded versions. So go slam that barn door and get up and dance.