A New Revival of Western Swing?

I went to a few events recently that made me think about the popularity of Western Swing, and how the dance crowds seem to be getting bigger for bands of this genre compared to previous years.

The first band I’m thinking of is Petunia and the Vipers. Although labeling Petunia as purely “Western Swing” would not be doing them justice, they definitely encompass some of that genre.

Take a look at this photo of their performance at El Cid one year ago, in June 2014.  There are a good number of folks dancing:

Honky Tonk Hacienda at El Cid

But when I went last Thursday, June 25th 2015, the dance floor was even more packed and the crowd seemed significantly bigger (sorry, this is cell-phone shot not a great depiction; you’ll have to take my word for it):Petunia and the Vipers at El Cid

Next, check out this photo of The Lucky Stars performing at the Fairfax Farmers Market two years ago in 2013:

The Lucky Stars at Fairfax Farmer's Market

At most there were four couples dancing at a time.

Compare that to last week.  The floor was completely packed and people had to dance behind the band!

The Lucky Stars at Fairfax Farmers' Market

Check out additional photos from this event at Jennifer Stockert’s great Facebook album!

Do these crowds mean that Western Swing is getting more popular?  Is this going to be the “next big thing?”

Or, are these crowds just a reflection of “pent up demand” since these bands don’t play very often?

I, for one, definitely wish they played more often. Petunia plays a couple times a year in L.A.  The Lucky Stars, maybe once a month max.  I haven’t seen Deke Dickerson’s band play in a while.  Anyone know of any others, please comment below! I’m by no means an expert!

What do you think?  Do you enjoy Swing dancing to this genre of music? Do you think it’s getting more popular, or are these anomalies due to pent-up demand?  – Brian

p.s., I couldn’t resist posting one of my all-time movie quotes regarding country and western music:

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8 years ago

For my wife and my friends, we put in an extra effort to get out and see a good western swing band because they do not play often. I have been a fan of the Lucky Stars since I first saw them at the Palomino, this may have been in about 1996 or so, and it is rare to see them. It is nice to see that they are playing more often this year.