Swing Soup
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Swing Soup


Band Country Bluegrass


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"Teddy Midnite"

"From blues to folk to swing"
With a dollop of Tom Waits' growl and the playful keyboard swagger of Dr. John, local singer/songwriter Ted McKee (a.k.a. Teddy Midnite), offers up two evenings of home-cooked bluesy gumbo: music that sticks to your ribs. We hope to hear a few originals from his Teddy Midnite album as well as his usual repertoire of acoustic blues, Western swing, and Americana. Bring your appetite. —JON SANTIAGO

"Sneakin' Around Town with Teddy Midnite"

Sneakin’ Around Town with Teddy Midnite
By Skye Suarez

When Folly Beach resident, singer songwriter, Ted McKee (aka Teddy Midnite) took an early out from his corporate job some years ago, his plan was to make a living with his music and live on the marsh. Heading up 8 different bands of various genres including Sneakers, Swing Soup, Bojamma Blues, Moon Dog, Windwalker, McKee & Stone and Boss Hawg, Ted might be the hardest working musician on the Charleston scene. In addition to playing live gigs 6 to 7 nights a week (sometimes 2 or 3 in one day), he finds time to write songs, arrange music, record in his own studio and still keep a slight hand in the financial planning business that allowed him to ditch the coat and tie. Born in Atlanta to an Army officer, McKee comes from a long line of musicians. He started out playing guitar in a folk duo with his brother on banjo before the boys progressed to rock and roll. The line doesn’t stop with Ted. His 21 year old niece, Bonnie McKee, recently on tour with Ryan Adams, signed a multi-million dollar deal with Sony when she was still in her teens. Bonnie has an album of all original tunes called “Trouble” that is finding a niche on pop stations nationwide.
I first heard Ted McKee play at the Sand Dollar over twenty years ago with his long-time group, “The Silver Dollar Band”. The band played great rockabilly tunes by The Flying Burrito Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Emmy Lou Harris, etc. and featured Deenie McKee on lead vocals. Through the years Ted toured the Southeast playing with various artists such as John Brannen and Jack Williams.
Admirably, McKee has stayed true to his heart in a very tough business. He recently made time to talk about the craft of songwriting and his experiences in the music industry.
SS: What inspires you to write songs?
Ted McKee: “I write a lot about the human condition, people that I meet, mostly about my own conditions. If I have a friend who is in trouble, I can actually feed off his troubles and write a song about it or I’ve also written songs about girls that have come out and danced, just the way that they dance…”

SS: I know you play a lot of original material when you perform, why do you think its worth people’s time to listen?
TM: “I feel like I have a gift of imagery, that I can create colors and images in people’s heads when they hear the lyrics. And people have told me that, and I totally enjoy writing like that because it gives me the same type of sensation. I guess that’s why. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a top hit or anything, at this point in my life it really doesn’t matter to me. It’s an art form and I think it’s the colors that are on my palette at the time.”

SS: How has your songwriting evolved from your early attempts to your latest?
TM: “Well I felt my earlier stuff was more “immaturish” actually. I didn’t consider myself as being an in-depth songwriter and after living through some things and some different influences, I felt that I matured a little. So yeah there’s gonna be a difference and I hope the songs that I write in the next 10 years are different than the songs I just wrote in the last ten.”

SS: Do you have a favorite song that you’ve written?
TM: “I think one of my favorite songs is “Where the Blue Heron Flies” just because I like the way the melody goes. It makes me think of the Low Country and how much I love it here.”

SS: Is that a song you feel could be commercially successful?
TM: “Nashville told me it wasn’t. I had a professional songwriter listen to the song and he wrote a critique. He said he didn’t think it was commercial enough to be successful. But that doesn’t really mean that much to me, you know they have a certain formula. If it doesn’t fit into that formula or that niche, it’s not going to work.”

SS: Do you have any regrets about your music career?
TM: “Yes of course I do. I would like to be in a place where I traveled around and did my own songs and that’s all I did. I guess the biggest regret is that I didn’t educate myself on songwriting as a craft until later on in life. I wish I had done it a lot earlier.”

SS: Who has had the most influence on you as a songwriter and musician?
TM: “Lately it’s been Tom Waits, Steve Earle, and Cole Porter… Bob Dylan, certainly some of my wilder things that I’ve written he kind of inspires me. I like the way Cole Porter puts music together, melodic lines. For the jazz songs that I write, I kind of like it.”

SS: What advice do you have for young singer songwriters just starting out?
TM: “I’d just say listen to a lot and try a lot of different things. You know I do a lot of different genres of music and I write in every genre because I get bored with the same one all the time. It’s like I run out of ideas, then if I go to something else, it renews my inspiration to the one that I just left. Now I’m in another genre, that kind of works…for me. I think everybody’s different.”

In regards to the craft of songwriting and - Charleston Free Time

"Weekend! 10 Ways to Play"

Swing time
Yeehaw. If Western swing with a little bluegrass and country is your music style of choice, check out Swing Soup, playing Friday at Home Team BBQ , 1205 Ashley River Road in West Ashley. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Swing Soup features Ted McKee on lead vocals and guitar, Ronnie Williams on vocals and piano, Rodney Stone on vocals and five-string bass guitar and Allan Thompson playing fiddle, mandolin, banjo, dobro and harmonica. No charge for admission. A portion of CD and T-shirt sales will benefit a local home for boys. Sample some Swing Soup online or check out the band's MySpace page. For more information, call 843-225-7427. - Charleston Business Journal


CD Review
Mike Gross / WVOF-FM / Fairfield, CT
“The beautiful SC beach country is home to a new and very enjoyable Western Swing band called Swing Soup. They have recorded a fine album of 11 original tunes, all written by the band’s very talented lead vocalist, guitar and mandolin player and album co-producer, Ted McKee.”
“The album opens with a very swinging Magic in the Moonlight and then goes to a smooth local Western Swing atmosphere for Where the Blue Heron Flies. The album contains touches of all moods of western Swing but still stays beautifully in the genre…The final tune is a dandy with a southwest theme titled Cowboy State of Mind.”


CD Review
Joe Baker / KWES FM / Ruidoso, NM
“I can remember the first time I ever heard this style of “Swing” music several years ago, I was introduced to a sensational group called Hot Club of Cowtown. SWING SOUP has a distinctive and refreshing up beat style, all their own. My ears really perk up when I hear swingin’ original music. There’s no standard cuts on this CD, folks.”
“My very first thought as I heard this CD was “Lookout for Number Two!” I am very impressed with SWING SOUP as this great group finds a place on Joe Baker’s Backforty Bunkhouse Show. The self-titled CD “Swing Soup” needs to be in your library today.”


"Review of Ted McKee –"

You can’t get more Southern than Ted McKee: his South Carolina ancestor, George Haynesworth, fired the first shot of the Civil War. Ted’s acoustic guitar has a rootsy-Americana feel, with a good deal of bluegrass influence. You can definitely hear this in songs like “Hummingbird Express”. Some of his songs have a more mellow feel, kind of like Gordon Lightfoot.

Ted is certainly versatile: he plays guitar, piano, flute, bass and pennywhistle. In addition to his solo work, Ted plays in 8 (!) bands of different musical genres.

For more information, check out http://www.teddymidnite.com

By Col. Tamar Alexia Fleishman
- Southern Fried Magazine


Swing Soup



Thanks everyone who attended last night's show at Gage Hall. Wow! It was standing room only! We can't thank our fans, the folks at Gage Hall and the local media for all their support!
Check us out on Calling All Cowboys Radio
KPOV 106.7 FM in Bend, Oregon with Chuckaroo the Buckaroo - www.KPOV.org
Other stations include Desert Highway Radio, Joe Baker’s Backforty Bunkhouse Show in Ruidoso, NM and The Critic's Choice on The Bridge 107.5 Charleston SC
Recent shows include Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ. Upcoming shows include Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, The Johns Island Jamfest '08 and Gage Hall in Charleston SC.
SWING SOUP from Charleston, SC released their first CD to national acclaim in 2002. It continues to sell in a worldwide market. The Academy of Western Artists nominated this band for Album of the Year, Best New Group of the Year, Song of the Year (Cowboy State of Mind), and Best New Male Vocalist and again the following year for Best Group of the Year.
Swing Soup was initially formed in 1998 when a corporate client was looking for a bluegrass band. The members of the popular party band, Sneakers, took the job and put together a great toe tappin' show. Band Leader Ted McKee saw an opportunity to keep moving in a direction completely different from what anyone else was doing. Inspired by some western swing bands, McKee, guitarist and lead vocalist, wrote a collection of songs with western style melodies and colorful lyrics. Ted teamed up with local musician Rodney Stone, and the two arranged the songs with Mills Brothers like harmonies and a little doo-wop flavoring added in. The band features lead vocalist and guitarist, Ted McKee (known locally as “The Dr. John of John’s Island”). The veteran musicians of Swing Soup listed below have played Bluegrass, Jazz, Country, Rock, Cajun and alternative with innumerable bands such as local groups Grace, Sin County, Boss Hawg, and Sneakers. At one time or another they have been on the road with Marshall-Tucker, Kansas and BTO to name a few. Together they are a force to be reckoned with.
The bowl of music will bring you back for seconds and that’s just what you’ll get when Swing Soup heads back to the studio for what promises to be the hottest soup yet. "Take songs with colorful lyrics, add two helpings of Western Swing, simmer over precise Doo Wop harmonies, and fiddle marinated in hot sauce and you've got a soup that swings!"
Check out Ted's other Sonicbids EPK's: