Mitch Webb is a songwriter straight from the roots music melting pot of San Antonio. His band is continually compared to Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet and rightfully so considering that Webb hails from the same hometown and plays a special blend of country, rock-n-roll and Conjunto found only in their region. The Swindles consist of some of the finest musicians the Alamo city has to offer. Mitch Webb plays guitar and sings and is joined by Grammy award winner Joe Reyes on guitar and vocals (Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez, Texas Tornados), Ed Gough on drums, Dave Wasson on guitar, Odie on bass, Michael Guerra on accordion (Raul Malo.) Their last studio album “The Lonely Kind” was produced by Ronnie Morales (Texas Tornados, Flaco Jimenez, Selena..) and did very well on the radio spending 9 weeks in the Americana Music Associations Top 40 chart and also landing in the top 10 of the FAR chart. With 5 cd’s under there belt and years of touring the US and Europe, you can be guaranteed to witness a performance with the raw power of a band that has seen it all and lived to tell about it.
A few quotes:
"Midway through Mitch Webb's set at Salute, a guy opened the door, took a quick look inside, grabbed his head in amazement, and left. I couldn't hear what he said, but I could read his lips: "Damn!" " By Enrique Lopetegui Published: December 7, 2011 San Antonio Current
“Mitch Webb’s Tex-Mex balladeering and Spanglish twanging brings to mind being stuck driving through King Ranch on a Sunday afternoon in a pickup truck without A/C, the windows wide-open and radio cranking for a sing-a-long to pass the time.” Benjamin Ortiz / Chicago Tribune
“…combine the punk rock immediacy of the True Believers, the Tex-Mex persuasions of Sir Douglas Quintet and the seedy innocence of a million garage dwellers…” Luke / Luke Magazine
“The Alamo has already produced one genuine legend in Doug Sahm and it’s now nurturing the finest Texas rock-n-roll band I’ve heard…” Luke / Luke Magazine
“…the Sir Douglas Quintet represents San Antonio’s greatest pop hope of yesteryear, while any number of Swindles tunes could make this band known countrywide.” Benjamin Ortiz / Chicago Tribune
“Mitch Webb and The Swindles continue in the rich musical tradition of San Antonio, Texas on Lonely Kind, a blend of rockabilly, roots country and in-your-face rock and roll. Reminiscent of the early days of Sun Rockabilly, Tex-Mex ballads of Freddy Fender and Flaco Jiminez and the great rock and roll sounds of Doug Sahm. Any of these songs could propel this outstanding band into the national spotlight and the album is beginning it’s rise on the R&R Americana Airplay Chart.” Bill Hurley / Artists Development Co-op
Mitch Webb - Guitar, Vocal, Spoons.
Joe Reyes - Guitar, Vocal.
Dave Wasson - Guitar
Odie Wayne Cole - Bass
Michael Guerra - button accordion
Ed Gough - Drums
Live; New Years Day 1998
Drunk For Your Amusement
Songs In The Key Of T
Last Band At Taco Land
Live at Roadhouse Rags 2010
Texas Underground #2: Mitch Webb and The Swindles
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Being raised on a heavy dose of Mel Bay musical instruction books and a steady stream of Hee-Haw sur...Being raised on a heavy dose of Mel Bay musical instruction books and a steady stream of Hee-Haw surely helped pave the way for one of Texas’ most notable cooking country acts, Mitch Webb and The Swindles.
Yes, Webb was raised on country, but he was also raised on the Texas’ infamous psychedelic playground where hippies and cowboys rocked out til the cows came home and then rocked out with the cows, thanks to an influential musical family member. (Ahem, just Google Cassell Webb.)
It’s telling Webb quotes influences like trash rocker Roky Erickson, songwriter Townes Van Zandt, cultural icon Freddy Fender and the laugh-out-loud banjo blues of country music’s answer to comedic ridiculousness, Jim Stafford. (Anyone remember “Spiders and Snakes?”).
His band The Swindles is of course laden with distinguished Texas talent including guitarist and knob-twisting Grammy winner Joe Reyes, guitarist Dave Wasson, one-moniker bassist Odie, other bassist Bart Nichols and drummer Paul Ward, who cover everyone from Homer Henderson’s “Lee Harvey Was A Friend Of Mine,” to Doug Sahm’s “Revolutionary Ways.”
Sad then that they hardly make waves on country radio despite more then a decade of rock-steady cultural country crooning, though Webb attests they’ve made it onto the Americana Radio Chart, most noticeably with Lonely Kind which garnered them nine weeks of ruckus making in 2008.
It only proves what true country fans already know: real country isn’t found on commercial airwaves, it’s found in the honky-tonks and watering holes of backwoods America, or in this case Texas, dually noted on The Swindles Last Band At Taco Land CD/DVD combo, a tribute to an infamous slain Texas bar owner who always had a heartfelt ‘F-you but there’s plenty of free Lone Star beer’ for musician’s waiting to play his stage. (Welcome to the Lone Star State.)
Webb and The Swindles are living proof that mournful tunes of lonely nights and Tex-Mex serenades are best left to true country crooners rather than the copycat Nashville clones.
" I Can't Stop, I Gotta Rock" part 1
Various wind chimes
" I Can't Stop, I Gotta Rock" part 2
Webb and Reyes
Live & local: Mitch Webb and the Swindles
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Midway through Mitch Webb's set at Salute, a guy opened the door, took a quick look inside, grabbed ...Midway through Mitch Webb's set at Salute, a guy opened the door, took a quick look inside, grabbed his head in amazement, and left. I couldn't hear what he said, but I could read his lips: "Damn!"
For a few seconds, he had been a witness to one of the most explosive local shows of the year, by a band that gets better with time. Webb and his Swindles completely pulverized Saluté, and it was a fitting wrap to the holiday party — and Doug Sahm tribute — organized by Margaret Moser and Michael Ann Coker's Texas Legacy Music Association.
Yes, there was the usual Sahm/Tornados/Sir Douglas Quintet homages ("Nuevo Laredo," "She's About A Mover"), but singer/acoustic guitarist Webb — whose own voice is a mix of Sahm and Elvis Costello — went well beyond that, with smoking versions of Butch Morgan's "Blubberball" and Freddy Fender's Tornados hit "A Man Can Cry" and, of course, "Before The Next Teardrop Falls." Webb's band is just as badass as he is, even without Big Dave Wasson (who was stuck in Fort Worth). Joe Reyes on guitar is a rare mix of subtlety and edge, bassist Odie looks like one of the bad guys in a Peckinpah Western but plays like an angel on energy drinks, and drummer Ed Gough is a Swiss watch with dynamite strapped on. And guess what: the sound at Saluté was great, courtesy of the band (it is possible, folks; nothing wrong with the room).
It was an unforgettable garage, country rock, and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll party that also had illustrious guests. After receiving an MVP/vocals award from TLMA, legendary PusiKat singer Joe Thomas showed he could still give James Brown a run for his money; Bennie Harp joined the party with always the right harp solo, and Jeff Smith (perhaps humbled and intimidated by these monsters) chose not to swallow the mic per usual, delivering instead a contained, cosmic country version of "Texas Ranger Man" (unlike the rock arrangement he does with the Hickoids).
On behalf of TLMA, which honors San Antonio and South Texas musicians and key players in the regional music industry, Moser and Coker used the night to announce the founding of the South Texas Popular Cultural Center. The not-for-profit center will open its door in May 2012 (watch 1017 E. Mulberry) to "collect, document, exhibit, preserve, and interpret South Texas music-related history and artifacts." In other words, they'll be reminding us (just as the Swindles did this night) that these older cats can still annihilate your average young dude. The announcement and show suggest 2012 will be a great year for local, older, rootsy music. The next natural step, I hope, is to put these guys together with the younger set to spark more collaboration and help create yet another new sound for the region. Until that happens, I'll continue following guys like the Swindles. Some kids may be louder, but no one does it better.
We have a set list of 125 or so songs we pick from according to the audience.