Check out the new single featuring harmonica maestro Howard Levy

Chicago’s Susie Blue & the Lonesome Fellas has a new single out for summer, a tribute to the great Patsy Cline with an updated, feisty cover of  “Back in Baby’s Arms”.   The band has been making history as Chicago’s most notorious and innovative Western Swing Group, but over the past year they have been busting genres  with a unique Chicago-styled Rockabilly and Retro Country sound, releasing singles that have hit the airwaves on radio stations like BBC Radio, NPR, Dublin FM, WFUV and thousands of other Alternative  based radio stations across the US and Internationally.   Their recent single, a vocal version of the Peter Gunn Theme that was written by Henry Mancini for Sarah Vaughan, crossed over from Alternative to Jazz and Blues radio stations featuring a boisterous horn section with Chicago sax maestro Eric Schneider and trombonist Jack Gallagher.   And now the band frolics back to their Retro Country roots with a sui generis update of the classic Patsy Cline favorite.

The song opens at a rollicking pace with harmonica maestro Howard Levy of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones  flirting through the first few bars, inviting the listener into the familiar tune but at a faster and more boisterous pace than we are accustomed to.  Neal Alger plays a distorted rockabilly guitar  while drummer Phil Gratteau lays out a combustible tempo that even Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols would be proud of.  Vocalist Solitaire Miles holds the original song down with her Cline-esque  vocal,  keeping the sound nostalgic,  while Levy cavorts around her swing-styled back phrasing,  transforming the song into a romping melee of genres.   Neal Alger has a rockabilly style solo, but remains arioso since Alger is also a jazz guitarist.   In fact  all of the band are veterans of the Chicago Jazz scene, but they have been transforming their styles and sounds over the past year, to create a rockabilly/jazz amalgamation to the delight of many listeners across the globe.

So if you’re looking for a fun and frisky song to play at a party or just jam to in your car,  this single will hit your nostalgic meter at 10 and also get you singing along with the classic  lyrics for an entertaining and lively 3 minutes, and maybe make you want to play it all over again.     – Jean M Reid, Chicago Music Guide 

Check out one of our favorite Western Swing

jingles done here in Chicago.

Susie Blue & the Lonesome Fellas is nominated by the Academy of Western Artists for "Best Western Swing Band" and "Best Western Swing Singer" this year

The band has been honored by the AWA this year for Best Band and Best Singer for vocalist Solitaire Miles.   The nominations are based on radio play by thousands of AWA registered DJ's in the US and across the globe, so the nominations reflect the amount of radio play each artist gets.  Read more about the AWA here  http://awaawards.org/

Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas have released a new LIVE album
featuring 11 tunes in concert at the PianoForte Foundation in Chicago.  If you can't travel to Chicago to hear the band play, now you can listen to a live show wherever you are, download the FREE mp3's here

DownBeat Magazine has chosen Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas

as one of the best Jazz CD's of 2015, giving them a 4.5 star review.

A big THANK YOU to DownBeat Magazine for this wonderful review of our new album. We are so honored that they gave us 4 1/2 stars, we are still pinching ourselves.  A lot of folks don't realize it, but Western Swing is a sub-genre of Standard Swing and Jazz, and that many of the traditional WS bands in the 1940's were made up of the same kinds of players as standard Swing bands, featuring sax, trumpet, clarinet, along with guitar, fiddle and pedal steel. When Big Band Swing swept the US in the late 1930's each region of the US embraced it and reflected the style according to their own local flavor. Western Swing came out of Texas and the Southwest and it is sometimes called "Texas Swing"

but since we are here in Chicago on the Prairie we are just calling it Western Swing. So we are not a country band... we are following the tradition of authentic Western Swing from the 1940's and you will hear it in our playing, covering tunes by the great bands Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and Spade Cooley
Although we have been getting a lot of great reviews and airplay from Roots, Americana and Folk publications and radio, even placing on their charts, we are also being supported by many jazz writers and radio stations and it is a thrill and an honor to cross genres like this, representing one of America's greatest authentic musical genres

The band was recently featured in concert and interview on Chicago's WDCB radio with host Besflores Nievera, you can listen to the

recorded 19 min  segment here

 

 
 

Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas is honored and thrilled to have been awarded "BEST SONG" in the Western Swing category by the Academy of Western Artists this past weekend in Fort Worth Texas! The AWA is a wonderful music organization that supports and promotes Western music and Western Arts, and we were just delighted to be nominated by them this year, in three categories - Best Western Swing Song, Best Western Swing Band, and Best Western Swing Vocalist. We were nominated with some VERY AMAZING talent and never dreamed that we would actually win an award!

 

We were recently featured in a wonderful interview by Bruce Bergethon on his show "Acousticity" on WGLT.  You can listen to the recorded interview here
http://wglt.org/post/jazz-singer-solitaire-miles-goes-blue-and-lonesome#stream/0
 
"You might not expect to encounter Western Swing coming from Chicago, but singer Solitaire Miles is doing a great job of reviving Cindy Walker and Spade Cooley on her new CD, "Susie Blue and The Lonesome Fellas." - Bruce Bergethon