Vagabond Swing
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Vagabond Swing

Lafayette, Louisiana, United States | SELF

Lafayette, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Band Folk Jazz

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"Lafayette’s creative class weighs in on what makes us a vibrant community."

Let’s say Vagabond Swing. I’ve seen a lot of young swing groups like this that turn me off — all campy, jive, playing dress up. But Vagabond Swing swings apart. Really intense, great players, great singing, and they’re in it for more that just some hustle or angle. These guys found each other. They draw you in and make you feel it. There is a strong work ethic. These guys yearn to know music and dedicate themselves to knowing music. But the basic thing that can’t be taught or learned — they know how to swing. I wish I could buy them a van. — David Egan
- The independent


"Anders Osbourne with Vagabond Swing @ Last Concert Cafe 3-11-11"

Monday March 14, 2011
Shirley Can - Rank and Revue Anders Osbourne with Vagabond Swing @ Last Concert Cafe 3-11-11
By: Shirley Can








Now those kids I wrote about before, Vagabond Swing, they opened. They win. OMFG! They are fantastic! Was so happy I was there early enough to see these sexy kids show Anders whaddups with writing a song. Really Anders, maybe you should have therm help you write some music to play live. That drummer has the sexiest voice alive and I would let him kick my bass drum with his fuzzy stick ANYTIME! Speaking of bass?! What is up with that standup bassist????? He is fucking possessed. Hands down, Vagabond Swing got me wet, and Anders Osbourne dried me out. Went home alone. Thought of sex after such an anti-climatic show, made me grip my Blue Dolphin vibrator extra hard, thinking about the lads of Vagabond Swing, until satisfaction, and my morning coffee.
- Rank and Revue - by Shirley Can


"NYE Posthaste with Vagabond Swing"

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Vagabond Swing just finished up recording their debut album of gypsy jazz and tarantella swing tunes with Grammy-winning studio wizard Tony Daigle and they’re ready to swat that baby on the butt and release it to the public. Soundtrack to an Untimely Death is slamming concept record of sorts about a love triangle gone wrong, as in death and a good man turned bad. The CD is packed with nine tunes of train track mandolins, surfgrass, and Caucasoid Afro-beat. DJ Judd Kennedy opens the show. If you’re looking for righteous show, plan on attending Vagabond Swing's Masquerade Ball and CD release party at Artmosphere on New Year’s Eve night.

In addition, Vagabond Swing will appear on Cecil Doyle's Medicine Ball Caravan on KRVS 88.7 FM today at 11 a.m. You can listen online at KRVS.org.
Artmosphere
902 Johnston St.
Lafayette, 233-3331



Vagabond Swing


POSTHASTE WITH VAGABOND SWING

History of Vagabond Swing in 5 words, more or less.
For it twas written...


Why music and not Adult Store Cashier or Furniture Tester or some other trade?
Josh: Doing what you love is better than doing what you have to do.

When S gets rough, who’s the go-to asskicker in the band?
Hayden & Roy: Jon Stone because he is a problem solving stone warrior.

What’s up with the new record?
Band: We recorded with Sir Master Commander Tony Daigle in his Cajun palace. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered in between August and November. Tony the madman, he was able to capture the raw spontaneity that is Vagabond Swing. We would classify this a concept record.




Soundtrack to an Untimely Death, Vagabond Swing CD


Briefly, give me a summary of the plot line and how it came about.
Roy: The plot of the story is about a love triangle that results in death and a good man turned bad (antihero if you will) on the run. We had written some of the songs before we had came up with the back story to connect all the songs. Jon and I write the lyrics, and I noticed a similar theme in our songs. So I started working on a story line. One day Jon and I were sitting at a theatre waiting for a movie to start, and I proposed the idea of the story and it grew from there.

What’s the hardest thing about being in a band?
Jesse & Jon: Making money and finding time to sleep!

Best gig ever?
Band: Our upcoming CD release party on New Years Eve with DJ Judd. It’ll be our best gig ever, cause we can share the experience with our community. So everyone better come out to see our first album release.

Worst gig ever?
Jon: Celtic Hell!

9/11. Building 7 collapse: evidence of a secret government fraud & ramrod?
Steven: We’ll dispel all rumors and set the story strait at our CD release on New Years Eve at Artmosphere.

Have you ever experienced “missing time” – a trait common among UFO abductees?
Roy: We are not allowed to speak on this topic.

In the event of a catastrophic world event, would the Real Elvis be more apt to suit up, sing, and calm the crazed masses as they’re corralled into FEMA Camps, or load up the Cadillac with fried banana sandwiches and head into the mountains?
Jon & Hayden: I’d like to think he'd take the stage, but who can resist fried bananas or mountains? And we believe Elvis will be attending our CD release on New Year’s Eve at Artmosphere. He already RSVP’d.

Name one thing nobody knows about Vagabond Swing?
Jon: Although we are primarily musicians, our next most important objective is locating the perfect taco/BBQ stand.

- The Independent - written my Dege Legg


"Eccentric Music: Vagabond Swing’s Soundtrack to an Untimely Death"

The music has panoramic richness. In the second part of the first chapter, the instrumental piece ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Couillon,’ the trumpet, sounding like more than one horn, augments a galloping beat, and the music has a chameleon intricacy, Spanish being one of its accents, with a lot of drama, drive, and energy. The music sounds too complex to be improvised (I imagine the musicians must be reading music sheets to keep up).


by Daniel Garrett

Vagabond Swing, Soundtrack to an Untimely Death
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tony Daigle
Vagabond Swing, 2011
(Facebook.com/vagabondswing)

Vagabond Swing’s Soundtrack to an Untimely Death is beautiful, complex, crazy music, elegant and rough, serious and joking, a blend of jazz, rock, and other forms of music (I hear something Latinate: Spanish, Italian); and the album seems to have been inspired, at least partly, by a short invented story—noted in brief chapters on the album’s illustrated inside jacket—of a love found, lost, and murdered, ending in a tribute to Django Reinhardt. I doubt that Vagabond Swing has much competition, as this is a very eccentric music. The members of Vagabond Swing are Jessie Duplechain, Jon Stone, Hayden Talley, Roy Durand, Josh Leblanc, and someone named Weebor; and Soundtrack to an Untimely Death is a great—imaginative, passionate, unique—calling card.

I am not sure how closely music ever follows a story, but listening one can pick up in the lyrics and the shifting mood of the music different aspects of the story told on Soundtrack to an Untimely Death. In the first part—‘Once Upon a Heist’—of “Chapter 1,” villainous horsemen attempt robbing a train; and the album begins with a beat with a bit of a thrash, a train whistle, a horn, and a howling voice. The beat that takes over is quick and comic, and a self-dramatizing voice offers robbery instructions and threats (the voice brings to mind Tom Waits and Nick Cave; a voice with a raw punk grain). The music has panoramic richness. In the second part of the first chapter, the instrumental piece ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Couillon,’ the trumpet, sounding like more than one horn, augments a galloping beat, and the music has a chameleon intricacy, Spanish being one of its accents, with a lot of drama, drive, and energy. The music sounds too complex to be improvised (I imagine the musicians must be reading music sheets to keep up).

The musical beginning of “Chapter 2” sounds intentionally pedestrian, as when convention or duty dictates behavior (it sounds like a bar scene, with one person giving in to the desire of another). A voice says, “Put your hand on my knee” and “I’ll be the man that you want me to be.” Then, there is recourse to a private space, and an erotic act takes place, followed by brassy music, in a movement or song called ‘Drop Trou.’ How much does that have to do with the written story, in which a young woman, Daisy, is torn between two lovers, one a vagabond horseman-thief, and the other a farmer, whom she will marry and rear a son with, in the text of “Chapter 2”? Daisy’s affection or attraction to the vagabond lasts, despite her family responsibilities. For the second musical movement—‘Kampana/Merry Go Wrong’—of “Chapter 2,” there is clapping and a kind of circle-group beat that becomes heavy and shuffling, a trumpet, and, before long, an element of funk, a bit of psychedelia, then a rhythm that jazz patrons would recognize, and a flutter of notes before a tumult that ends in unified voices.

In “Chapter 3” (‘The Great Trick’), the thieving horsemen find Daisy, and her husband kills most of them, but not Daisy’s former flame; and the killing leaves Daisy unhappy in “Chapter 4” (‘Daisy and the Vagabond’). Killing someone is, of course, the ultimate repudiation; a rejection of a person and of that person’s relation to oneself and the world: thought made (dead) flesh. In ‘The Great Trick,’ is a large drum sound—it has a magnified echo—reminding me of 1970s rock, and there are slurred words, sounding drunken, a light interlude, then a bullet-like rhythm. A woman whispers something, and a man admits, “I hear what I want to hear.” There is a little gypsy music, and weird nature sounds. The next movement (‘Daisy and the Vagabond’) begins with what sounds like a contented voice (the farmer’s?) and a marching band, but then, “one day in my garden, I saw a sight not to see,” the kind of a man seen in dreams (a woman’s desire; a rival male’s fear). There is an air of dramatic decision, of momentum.

There is more murder in the text of “Chapter 5” (‘Soundtrack to an Untimely Death’) when the farmer realizes Daisy is involved with the vagabond horseman. Musically, there are little mandolin trills, a sad and soaring (possibly elegiac) trumpet, a dying flutter of notes, and a big drum sound, before a roaming man—now, the farmer—speaks of “my life spent running from my crime,” the murder of wife and lover, after beginning to believe his son is not his but that of the vagabond. The music rumbles with renewed life, and the words suggest a return home, ending with a crowing bird and a ringing bell.

Although the previous music advanced the story to exile in the city and a return home, the text for “Chapter 6” notes that the father leaves his field for the city, and years later returns to the now grown son he had helped to rear, and there is—as with many fathers and sons in legend and myth—a bloody meeting between the two. The album Soundtrack to an Untimely Death by Vagabond Swing, a band of multi-talented individuals, ends with a tribute to Django Reinhardt; a conclusion of trumpet, harmonic voices, and disparate rhythms—light, sultry, jazzy, eastern. Indeed, keyboardist Weebor and guitarist Jessie Duplechain, violinist Jon Stone, upright bassist Hayden Talley, drummer Roy Durand, and trumpeter Josh Leblanc—with Duplechain, Stone, Durand, Leblanc, and Weebor doing vocal work—and the participation of Jamie Landry and Alex Brannon on cello, and other friends helping with sound effects, have produced in Soundtrack to an Untimely Death something imaginative, passionate, and unique.


Daniel Garrett, a graduate of the New School for Social Research, and the principal organizer of the Cultural Politics Discussion Group at Poets House, is a writer whose work has appeared in The African, All About Jazz, American Book Review, Art & Antiques, The Audubon Activist, Black Film Review, Changing Men, Cinetext, Contact II, Film International, The Humanist, Hyphen, Illuminations, Muse Apprentice Guild, Offscreen, Option, Pop Matters, Quarterly Black Review of Books, Rain Taxi, Red River Review, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Wax Poetics, and World Literature Today. Garrett originated two internet logs: one focused on culture and social issues, “City and Country, Boy and Man,” and one focused on books, “The Garrett Reader.” He has been writing a novel, A Stranger on Earth.


- Daniel Garrett


"From Dusk till Dawn"

Vagabond Swing just finished up recording its debut album of gypsy jazz and tarantella swing tunes with Grammy-winning studio wizard Tony Daigle, and it’s ready to swat that baby on the butt and release it to the public. Soundtrack to an Untimely Death is a slamming concept record of sorts about a love triangle gone wrong, as in death and a good man turned bad. The CD is packed with nine tunes of train track mandolins, surf grass, nomad folk, and Caucasoid Afro-beat. - The Independent


"Vagabond Swing down to New Orleans (9/16/10)"



By Dominique Minor

After being highly recommended by a friend, who is a live music devotee, I decided to spend my Thursday evening at Checkpoint Charlie’s checking out a set by Vagabond Swing. Although I was guaranteed that the Lafayette, Louisiana-based quintet was going to “put on a sick show,” and that their music could best be described as “gypsy jazz punk,” I still didn’t have any idea what I was in for. The Zydepunks and Gogol Bordello came to mind. However, I soon found out I was wrong.

Since Vagabond Swing didn’t go on until 11pm, my friends and I waltzed across the street to Balcony Music Club to pre-game and get amped up with some live tunes before the show. Unfortunately, upon walking in BMC we concluded that we could not endure the soulless rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” being performed by the band on stage and chose to migrate to Café Negril.

For those of you who haven’t discovered Café Negril, it’s a gem. I highly suggest stopping by—even if it’s only to try the awesome/cheap late night-grub that revolves around freshly prepared Latino staples such as pork tacos and quesadillas. Plus, every time I’ve been there I’ve been fortunate enough to catch a live set from this awesome reggae band fronted by Caroline Fourmy. (Note to bands: Do us music journos and music fanatics a favor by announcing your name a few times during your show. Most of us are drinking after all!)

Following what we felt was the adequate amount of time, my friends and I trotted back to Checkpoint’s for Vagabond Swing. Immediately, I took notice of their instruments: Upright bass, mandolin, melodica, drums, trumpet, an acoustic, electric guitar (Gibson SG model), tambourine and a cabasa shaker. Again, I was still unsure of what to make of the band.

Opening with a decidedly tour-de-force, uptempo composition, the band instantly took a hold of my attention. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Literally. The band’s grooves were encased in a mélange of fluid, labyrinthine rhythms. It seemed like every time I thought I had a grip on their sound, the band’s far-reaching musical leanings would surprise me yet again. It was Ragtime one minute, and Bolero the next. Surprisingly, the band managed to accomplish this without coming off as dense. Jazz, it seems is one of band’s primary influences and this was particularly evident in “Django Medley,” a 5-minute tribute to Gypsy jazz deity Jean “Django” Reinhardt.

After the band wrapped up its nearly 3-hour set, I chatted briefly with mandolinist/vocalist Jon Stone who expressed excitement about the group’s upcoming shows in New Orleans. Though driving from Lafayette means a 3-hour trek for the boys in Vagabond Swing, they remain a band committed to the live music scene in New Orleans. Stone says he hopes the band will be able to play in the city every 4 to 6 weeks. However, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to wait that long to hear Vagabond Swing.

Upcoming Shows:
9/24 The Celtic (Pascagoula, MS)
9/25 Club Amb (Mobile, AL)
10/1 Lola’s (Fort Worth, TX)
10/22-23 The Continental Club (Austin, TX) - Stereo Gumbo


"Sideshow Tramps, Vagabond Swing and Nick Gaitan's Umbrella Man Friday Nov. 26th, 2010 Continental Club - HTX"

Vagabond Swing took the Continental Club stage this past Friday, after Nick Gaitan and The Umbrella Man started the post-Thanksgiving weekend off to a small, but eagerly responsive crowd. With the Sideshow Tramps headlining, the anticipation had already been growing all week for some fast-moving, dance-induced, body-flying…which the Tramps are famous for. Even early on, there was a quality to the applause that was laced with energy, and as if on cue, the aroma of the barbecue stand won me over with one tiny tale about "whiskey" and "strength".
For Vagabond Swing, to follow-up an award-winning Houston favorite, and then perform before another award-winning Houston favorite is not an easy place to be, but I had heard they had roots around Lafayette, and two studio tracks promised that their gypsy style was well-matched for the bill.

vagaroyjoshcont.jpg

When I walked back in from my sandwich, Vagabond Swing had commandeered the venue with a rather impressive momentum, 'The Good The Bad and The Couillon' was enticing and there seemed to be an expansive energy occurring between the band and the increasing crowd. The drummer was standing up and urging them with loud ravings, and they immediately responded with a roar. The dual horns rose out of a slow and gaining rhythm, and as the tempo increased in the room, the mandolin added a chiming accent...and by the time the upright bass and drums kicked in, the place has gone completely bananas. As if taunting the uprisal, the band went into the next song without any delay, and the swirling room responded by reversing direction.

vagafonweeborcont.jpg


EARJOY:What was seemingly the sound of a freight train rolling out of swampy backwoods railyard quickly shifted tempo as if pulling into an upbeat Carnivale style jam out, followed with lyrical ringmaster style demand by vocalist/drummer, Roy Durand, "ATTENTION EVERYONEEE..." as him and Jon Stone on vocals/mandolin alert the crowd of a hiest with the rest of Vagabond Swing just as convincing. As I looked around the crowd for a bit I realized that had this been a real hiest Vagabond would have walked away with bags of jewelry and cash, the crowd was convinced. Now, not a soul would leave the room even for a smoke, the crowd was in a world of their own provided by Vagabond Swing.


VAGABOND SWING CROWD @ cONTINENTAL - htx WITH TH tramps.jpg

EARJOY:By the time the trumpets started roaring the well orchestrated 'Soundtrack To An Untimely Death' to end the evenings set, the fans(I say fans because what was once a crowd evolved into fans) were not ready for the set to end. As Hayden Talley was getting funky on the Upright Bass, Weebor, Jesse and Jon all seem to be shooting smiles of appreciation over at recent addition Steven Pilcher tearing up the Trumpet. Being a Local Live Music junkie seeing a band form is something I take great honor in being a part of.

vagabondroycont2.jpg


LENS:As I walked through, Geoffrey Muller from the Sideshow Tramps watched intently from corner-stage. Nick Gaitan, smiling with friends at stage-left, was clearly enjoying the show, and upon my arrival at center-stage, Felipe from Los Skarnales mentions to me how much of a blast he is having. I got swept up in my own personal camera frenzy in the front row for a bit, and soon realized that some members of the crowd were completely entranced, and that I was surrounded by a rhythmic mass of smiling faces. We all seem to be independently drifting somewhere beautiful at the same time through this strangely hypnotic music.


LENS:During the moment Vagabond Swing hands over the stage, I realize I probably should have had three sandwiches...

sideshow tramps.jpg



EARJOY:Soon into the Sideshow Tramps set we realized the show wasn't over for Vagabond Swing as Trumpet master Josh LeBlanc slowly walks on stage and takes position next to Geoffrey Muller. Now folks, this show is becoming one of the best Musical bills I have attended in quite some time.As im Lost in The Sideshow Tramps rockin out I saw a few more of the Vagabond members start removing their instruments from the cases on the side of the stage...



BACK TO MAI - Rank and Revue


"After Downtown Alive!"

After Downtown Alive!, I drifted over to Artmosphere for their happy hour band. Vagabond Swing is an acoustic act that blends ragtime jazz with gypsy swing. Musically complicated and layered with fun, light lyrics, Vagabond Swing (Jesse Duplechin, Jon Stone, Roy Durand, Hayden Tally, and Josh Leblanc comprise the group) were the perfect band to listen to while sitting on a porch in Louisiana’s temperate April weather. They played the following night with a band reviewed here before, The Givers, and they play another happy hour set at Artmosphere on May 1. You can get more info on the band at myspace.com/vagabondswing. - The Times of Acadiana


Discography

Full length studio cd "Soundtrack to an Untimely Death" release 12/31/10

Live in Austin Tx at Roadhouse Rage

Photos

Bio


Booking:
Chris Cate
Chris@hoplitemusic.com
www.hoplitemusic.com/vagabond-swing/

Music By:
Jesse Duplechain, Roy Durand, Joshua Leblanc, Steven Pilcher, Hayden Talley, Jon Stone, & Bryan Weber