"Hard to imagine any band coming out of Lubbock or Austin now that could do this any better."
Seasoned Canadian cowboy-jazz heroes, the Bebop Cowboys have a stellar reputation for their musicianship and respect for the country-swing canons. All top-shelf musicians— Steve Briggs (guitar/vocals), Howard Willett (harps/whiskey-soaked baritone lead vocals), Burke Carroll (pedal steel), John Adames (drums), Dennis Pendrith (string bass), John Sheard (piano) and Drew Jurecka (fiddle)—have the ingredients to serve up a hot brand of Western Swing, rarely if ever heard outside Texas and Southern California. Individually, these players have played with the best of them, including Bruce Cockburn, Prairie Oyster, Shania Twain, Ian Tyson, Jeff Healey, Shirley Horn, Gordon Lightfoot, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Carroll Baker, Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson and Bob Wills Texas Playboys’ Leon Rausch & Herb Remington.
In 2006, the Bebops released their highly anticipated third CD, Canadian Dance Hall, which pays tribute to the '30s, '40s, and '50s when western swing flourished in North America. The disc features some marquee Canadian artists as guests who were attracted to the project, including Sarah Harmer, Russell deCarle (Prairie Oyster) and Chuck Jackson (Downchild Blues Band) among others.
BEST OF TORONTO:
- Best Country/Roots Act
- NOW Magazine TORONTO INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD nominee
- Best Country Act CANADIAN FOLK MUSIC AWARD nominee
- Best Ensemble INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD finalist, Americana Album
“Western Swng is alive and well in the hands of the Bebop Cowboys.
This (Canadian Dance Hall) CD is a constant delight. Four stars.”
“The Bebops are sensational...”
-SING OUT! (USA)
“It was Toronto’s own Bebop Cowboys, not any band from Bob Wills’
home state of Texas, leading last year’s 100th birthday celebration for the late king of western swing. And for the encore, the week-end warriors, who first brought the sound that Wills popularized to audiences in the great White North, are celebrating their fabulous self-released Canadian Dance Hall disc at the Lula Lounge. The disc has superb interpretations of Wills’ repetoire staples like Fat Boy Rag, Brain Cloudy Blues and I Laugh When I Think (How I Cried Over You), which shook town halls and barn dances all across Canada in the pre rock-n-roll era. But they’ve also added a number of their own compositions that stand proudly alongside the genre classics and put the Cowboys well beyond the class of mere revivalists.”
- NOW Magazine (Toronto)
“It's a fair distance from 1930s Louisiana to Toronto in the new millennium, but "Some Kind of Fantasy", the second CD by the Bebop Cowboys is pretty much just as exciting. Musically, we're travelling more to the 1960s and the country jazz recording of crack outfits like Jimmy Dickens’ Country Boys (with Buddy Emmons) and Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours (with Buddy Charleton); or to the late night jam sessions of Nashville studio musicians such as Hank Garland or Grady Martin, blowing away the countrypolitain cobwebs of the day's work. Ordinarily such comparisons would be a bit of a reach; believe me, these guys really are this good. "Some Kind of Fantasy" is easily the best contemporary western swing recording I've heard in quite a while. The heart of the band is Steve Briggs (guitar) and Burke Carroll (pedal steel guitar), and twin guitar work so audacious it takes your breath away. That they make it sound so effortless is surely a tribute to how much work has gone into the rehearsals, and into Briggs' arrangements.” - Western Swing Music Society News (Canada)