It Don't Mean a Thing ...

Honey B here.... thought I'd give a little, that sort of thing.

I love early jazz, swing, jump/jive and 40's era standards. Such great melodies, and the lyrics.....there's something hopeful, usually about love or dancing, but coming in a time of war and such a lovely voice and with a certain innocence.

Back in the 80's in Marin , my 2 girlfriends and I started a 30's & 40's Swing acapella trio called Girls Night Out...that was a blast. We were young and got to wear those wonderful little 40's dresses with the peplums...and bright red lipstick, Yowsah! We played all over the place, including on a WW11 warship in San Francisco, singing with the Navy Big Band!

I eventually started another band, Dusty Rhodes and her Handsome Cowboys, (parodies of 50's TV westerns, genuine old cowboy songs, topical humor and adventure yodeling) with a girl pal and beautiful singer, Rebo. Eventually my husband started playing with us and I've been playing that music for 22 years, always amazed that I still enjoy it so much...but in my music-at-home times, I learned those old Jazz Standards....These Foolish Things, Nice and Easy, It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't got that Swing, etc).

A friend, Jesse Boggs, and I were jamming one evening with a bunch of Sonoma County musicians when we started playing some Swing. I had so much fun I said "Hey, wanna be in my Swing band?" failing to mention that, at this point,  "My Swing band" was in "My Head". He immediately said "Yes!" and I thought ...that's cool, that would be fun....whenever (the future tense of whatever).

Well, he called me the next day, saying, "So were you serious about joining your Swing band?".  I'm ready!".

We started learning songs together that week and continue to come up with new ones that we can't wait to learn. We got some gigs as a duet so we could learn the songs without staring at the music (although I still do some of that:). Playing stand-up bass and singing lead at the same time is, well, you try's kind of hard. So although I'm not a "JAZZ" bass player, I'm stoked that I can even do what I do! It's been a huge learning curve for me (it's still curving and should come to a full circle someday soon), getting around the bass more and learning proper fingering (after all those early years of bluegrass bass) is such a welcome challenge.

So we started getting some gigs for a full band...we needed a drummer, and we got the right one. Bill's got this great smile that goes along with his attitude...I love looking back at him and he's just smiling and having fun keeping the beat, holding it all down. He plays with a couple of other local jazzy combos, so he knows his stuff. A horn player was harder to come by since I really love clarinet and sax and it was/is hard to find someone who plays both well, in this style. Brian Campbell is just the coolest and sweetest guy..and a super sensitive player. He has his own band in Marin, Campbells Jazz Soup, check them out.

I feel fortunate to play and sing with these guys, all seasoned players and, most important, they have great attitudes...we all want to have fun doing what we love. How cool is that?

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