Beacon Street Titans please crowds with
jump blues, combination of blues & swing
December 2020 Page 3
CROOKED ARROW PUBLISHING EDITOR / PUBLISHER: Bonnie Carter WRITERS:
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By Marie Walters
Merry Christmas Happy New Year
Long Black Veil" now on CD Baby
New albums online at Spotify
Parties,Weddings, Anniversaries, Reunions - Any Event!
David Currey: Guitarist/Singer
Love Revival" & "Never Been So In love"
CD Available on CDBaby
new CD release real deal new CD release 'real deal' see review in January issue
The Beacon Street Titans are billed as a contemporary jump blues and swing band from Port- land, Oregon. But what is this musical genre called jump blues? Pretty much everyone who hears it falls in love with it. Essentially, if the blues and swing music had a baby, it would be jump blues. The genre comes out of the 1940s and experienced a revival in the late '90s that originated on the West Coast with bands such as Oregons own Cherry Poppin Daddies, Canadas Colin James Little Big Band, LAs Big Bad Voo- doo Daddy, The Brian Setzer Or- chestra and Roomful of Blues.
The Titans are influenced by the big band era (1935-1955), rockabil- ly, ska with a little bit of Cab Callo- ways on-stage theatrics thrown in. The Titans charged onto the Port- land music scene in 2013, earning a much-coveted Muddy Award nomination for Best New Act by the Cascade Blues Association. As they built their reputation and a sizable following, the band competed twice in the Journey To Memphis (deter- mining which local bands will get to compete in the International Blues Challenge), becoming finalists in both 2015 and 2016. To say the Titans are high ener- gy is putting it mildly. The original band grew out of a Craigslist ad about 15 years ago, went through several name and personnel changes until 2013; then they
Front L to R: John Swecker, Tom Ladouceur, Howard McClung, Steve Maliszewski. Rear L to R: Brad Bleidt (hat behind keyboard), Trey Davis, JeffAbbott . (Photo by Marie Walters)
landed on their current name. How? The bands sax player at the time thought the lead singer lived on Beacon Street (he didnt) and added Titans because they want- ed a name that evoked the loud, in-your-face energy of their music. Their sound also evolved from the blues they all like, to incorporate swing music, which they all love. They decided Lets do both! and have developed an extensive play- list covering a wide array of styles. Who are the Beacon Street Ti- tans? Seven talented musicians bring almost 300 combined years of experience to the stage. Front man Howard McClung brings shades of bygone eras theatrics to the stage and into the audience, throwing you curves when you least expect it, disappearing into the crowd or leaping onto tables. Whether croon- ing or on harmonica, his versatility never fails to satisfy. Steve Maliszewski holds down the strong rhythm section with his driving bass lines and melodic solos, while taking turns with both lead and harmony vocals. He is truly partnered with his instrument, often swaying, spinning and even dancing with his upright. Drummer JeffAbbot keeps the band moving with his driving beats, tasty fills and solid patterns, earn- ing the right to his throne. Trey Davis extraordinary talent and adaptability fortifies the infra- structure with his feisty jazz guitar licks and solo work. Rounding out the meaty rhythm section is keyboardist Brad Bleidt, who blends his talents as a jazz pia- nist with blues, R&B and jump influ- ences. Together they form a rock-solid foundation for the rest of the band.
And what is swing music without a horn section? John Swecker not only contributes his talents by developing flaming hot arrangements, he is also a distin- guished trumpet player, evident in both his solos and harmonies.
And finally, Tom Ladouceur weaves his artistic mastery on ten- or saxophone, fusing jazz, blues and swing influences to complete the overall sound of the Titans. From this union of various tal- ents and genres comes a tight, powerhouse band that compels you to get out of your seat. Beacon Street Titans' shows are a highly engaging escape for the audience.
The crowd and musicians all be- come part of whats happening as the energy level ramps up; and when its over, everybodys realized theyve forgotten about the daily grind and leaves with a smile on their face.
The Beacon Street Titans are available for your holiday events in December. Except at the time of this writing, the Governor just issued a COVID-related order closing the venues for the next few weeks, effectively postponing all scheduled shows. So the band will keep working in the background, preparing to burst forth upon the music scene in Portland once ev- eryone can all safely gather and dance together again.
For more information, songs and videos check out www.face- book.com/thebeaconstreettitans or www.beaconstreettitans.com.
Sunday Social Dance
at Parkrose Dance Ballrom Sandy & NE 105th
Lessons & Dance
$6 per Person
Call 503-676-4198Previous Page