Round Up Boys Liner Notes
Like many other Round Up Boys fans, I'll always remember the Friday I sauntered into Nelson's Buffeteria in downtown Tulsa, looking for lunch (a Brown Derby with mashed potatoes was my favorite) and joyously finding a live band, playing western swing and classic hillbilly music, right there among the diners. The Round Up Boys drew such a following on their lunchtime-Friday appearances that, at times, the line for cafeteria service extended out the door and well down the sidewalk-which was all right, of course, as long as you could listen to their music while you waited.
That was several years ago, and Nelson's is gone now - but the Round Up Boys certainly aren't. They've just moved nine blocks north (hence the name of this disc) appearing regularly at a venue that fits them like a pair of boots fits a hardwood floor. It's Cain's Ballroom, the famed home for more than a quarter of a century of western-swing pioneers Bob and Johnnie Lee Wills, from whom the Round Up Boys not only draw inspiration, but a good deal of their repertoire as well.
The Wills bands were, of course, dance bands, and somewhere on the road between the late Nelson's and the still-lively Cain's, the Round Up Boys also metamorphoses from a laid-back aggregation of acoustic pickers into a first-class dancehall outfit, handling swing and two-steppers and Ray Price shuffles with verve, enthusiasm, and a sure-handed, easily identifiable style.
You don't need me to tell you that. All you need to do is take a listen to this fine disc, which features a slate of standards done the Round Up Boys' way, along with a pair of originals that fit right in. One of them is even a Song of Inspiration, just like we used to hear at the end of every hour when barnburner radio station KVOO was blasting the Wills brothers' western swing from Tulsa clear to the Pacific Ocean.
And speaking of radio, big thanks to leader Bob Fjeldsted and the boys for immortalizing my own public-radio show wht the new verse you'll hear in their version of the Wills classic "Take Me Back to Tulsa." What an honor, especially coming from a group of guys who've been a vital part of my playlist from the beginning!
John Wooley, host
Swing on This
KWGS (89.5 FM, streaming at www.kwgs.org )
From: Jana Jae
To: Bob Fjeldsted
Sent: November 19, 2009 12:02:11 AM
Subject: Here 'tis, Bob!
Bob Fjeldsted and the Roundup Boys are delightful! If you want to be entertained and enjoy authentic Western Swing, then Bob and the Boys are the ticket. Plus, they are always a professionally dressed, sharp group of guys! Enjoy! - Jana Jae
Sent: October 27, 2009 2:47:25 PM
Subject: Re: Testimonial
"We have had the pleasure of presenting the Round-Up Boys in concert at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and it was a knock-out evening of entertainment and fine musicianship. What a thrill for all in attendance - simply the best!" Chuck Cissel, Artistic Director OJHF
Charles "Chuck" Cissel
423 North Main Street * Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103
(918) 584-2306 * Fax (918) 583-7014
Ah the Round-Up Boys. What a breath of fresh air. Their music brings back the sound of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and makes you feel as though you are watching Bob and his brothers perform. The music takes you back to a place in time. It’s always a pleasure to see the guys in concert and hear them continue the legacy of western swing music.
The guys are some of the nicest most genuine fellows to work with in the business.
Brad Harris Chad A. Rodgers
Production Manager General Manager
Cain’s Ballroom Cain’s Ballroom