Jitterbug ~ Another name for the Lindy Hop or swing dancing. Jitterbug music is the very danceable music from the 30s & 40s.
Vipers ~ Viper music is a special kind of swing music from the 30s & 40s which was played and sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Louis Jordan.
The Jitterbug Vipers
Imagine a dimly lit nightclub in 1940’s Chicago. Wes Montgomery, Ray Brown are jamming with Count Basie. They meet up with Jerry Garcia in a dark alley. Then things get really smokin’ hot….you might say they get…SWINGADELIC. Vintage jazz, swing, it’s hot, sultry, and danceable, influenced by Billie Holliday, Charlie Christian and Count Basie’s rhythm section and the 30s & 40s Viper scene. Well, check it out. Close your eyes and you won’t believe your ears. Sarah Sharp, vocals (think Billie Holiday, Ricky Lee Jones, Nina Simone); Slim Richey, guitar (dangerous); and Francie Meaux Jeaux, upright bass (think Ray Brown); with a cast of Austin’s best “Viper” sidemen (& women!).
Slim Richey, the most dangerous guitarist in Texas, has played and recorded with Herb Ellis, Marc Johnson, Maryann Price, Marty Stuart, David Amram, Ricky Skaggs, and Ray Price, toured Japan twice, Italy three times, and on and on. He’s internationally recognized for his distinct style of Southwestern swing/jazz guitar.
Sarah Sharp has won many awards for her singing and recordings and many successful concerts in the U.S. and abroad. She has toured Italy twice as a singer/songwriter and with Slim and Meaux Jeaux in ‘09 singing American classics and standards. Sarah’s torchy, swinging vocal style is a perfect fit for The Jitterbug Vipers with award winning jazz guitarist, Slim Richey and bassist extraordinaire, Francie Meaux Jeaux.
Francie Meaux Jeaux, bassist extraordinaire has played with Dan Hicks, Michelle Shocked, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis and Maryann Price. She’s a veteran of many Acoustic Music and Jazz Festivals including the San Miguel de Allende International Jazz Festival in Mexico .
Masumi Jones, the Tokyo Tsunami, has been in the U.S. for only a little while. She played drums with big swing bands in Japan and is quickly making a name for herself in Austin where she is in demand for recording sessions and gigs.
Other regular sidemen include:
Paul Glasse: Mandolin Virtuoso. member of the Western Sing Hall of Fame.
Dan Walton is a self-taught pianist who learned to play his favorite tunes by listening to records and, later, studying with Asleep at the Wheel’s legendary pianist, Floyd Domino. Now Dan is the pianist with Asleep at the Wheel. He’s played and recorded with Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Paul Shaffer, and others. He’s the newest member of The Jitterbug Vipers and still with the Wheel.
John Doyle is a master of Gypsy jazz, western swing, blues, and other genres, on
saxophone and clarinet. Jon is a long time member of the Jitterbug Vipers and a veteran of the Old Settler’s Festival. Lately he’s been on loan to the Asleep At The Wheel and Willie Nelson tour.