Mixing catchy originals with timeless classics, Marshall Ford Swing Band has firmly rooted itself in the proud tradition of classic Texas swing music. Headed by keyboardist-vocalist Emily Gimble, the granddaughter of legendary swing fiddler Johnny Gimble, and guitarist-singer Greg Harkins, the Austin-based quintet cooks up 14 choice cuts of waltzes, shuffles and full-on foot-stompers on their second release. Gimble belts out the call-and-shout retro Old Joe's Hittin' the Jug (which gets a fiddle assist from Western Swing Hall of Famer Erik Hokkanen) as Harkins and Johnny Wheeless swap fiery guitar licks.
The pair also tear it up on the instrumental Section 8, yet Harkins shows he can mellow just a bit on his self-penned Dreamin.' Gimble's equally cozy with her grandfather's song You're Why and Irving Berlin's Marie. Yet Harkins clearly steals the record with his ode to Pickles n Tomatoes.
With a reputation for kick-ass live shows, producer Danny Levin loses nothing in the translation from stage to studio. The live vibe, scorching instrumentals and warm vocals make for an accomplished, inspired performance from start to end.