The COVID-19 shutdowns are a huge challenge to the livelihoods of our local and worldwide musicians, who’ve had nearly all of their gigs canceled. And, it’s a bummer for us fans who miss hearing the great music they make.
So, it’s a great time to consider purchasing some of their music!
Below is a list of where you can purchase the music of some of the most popular bands that we love to dance to in Southern California.
This list is by no means complete! If your favorite band is not on this list, PLEASE COMMENT BELOW with a link to their store, and I’ll add them as long as they have a reasonable L.A.-area following. I skipped some bands because I couldn’t find their merch online. Note, the descriptions are from the bands’ respective websites or Facebook pages, when available.
Popular Bands We Love Dancing To
Aileen Quinn and The Leapin’ Lizards
“This high octane band really delivers with foot-stomping’, grooving tunes and sassy, sexy melodic vocals. Aileen Quinn And The Leapin’ Lizards masterfully mix classic Rockabilly hits with unforgettable and soulful originals.”
Alpha Rhythm Kings
‘Established in 2017, The Alpha Rhythm Kings have created quite a stir with music fans, having crafted an exciting, King Size California sound, with what Roots Music Magazine No Depression calls “the badge of authenticity.” The Alpha Rhythm Kings’ debut recording, “California Boogie”, featuring their exciting original arrangement of “Oh Marie”, is a “truly happening party record” (Jazz Corner), and one of the “greatest swingin’ releases worldwide”‘ (Hey Mister Jesse).
The Barrelhouse Wailers
“The Barrelhouse Wailers serve up their own take on Prohibition Era hot jazz and blues music of the 1920’s and 1930’s. They perform on only acoustic instruments to retain the authentic sound of that period. The Wailers bring their passion and energy to the style, making it as fresh today as it was when it was the newest, hottest dance music 100 years ago! They have been influenced by a cocktail of artists, past and present, like Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tuba Skinny, Sydney Bichet, Billie Holiday as well as Traditional New Orleans Jazz, Classic Blues, Country Blues and Big Band sounds.”
“Los Angeles based violinist specializing in vintage jazz.” [And electroswing – Brian]
The Big Butter Jazz Band
“The Big Butter Jazz Band is dedicated to playing New Orleans traditional jazz. Back from the times when jazz was still dance music. Whether you call it traditional (trad) jazz, early jazz, hot jazz, Dixieland, New Orleans jazz, or vintage jazz, it’s full of beautiful melodies, infectious energy, and a pulsing rhythm that you can’t help but dance to. “
The California Feetwarmers
” Lovers of ragtime, stompy blues and hot jazz, The California Feetwarmers are renowned for an earthy depth of character that sets them apart from others who have followed that throwback path to New Orleans, Circa 1920.
Their boisterous on-stage presence is solidly underpinned by playing that is as close to the source as it can be. Based in Los Angeles, they stylishly cultivate and re-work old classics, re-visiting material from The Blue Ridge Playboys, Scott Joplin, The Memphis Jugband and Emile Grimshaw’s Rag Pickers.”
The Candy Jacket Jazz Band
“The Candy Jacket Jazz Band is comprised of some of the best swing practitioners in the United States. Since forming in 2016, they have successfully forged their own path through the modern-day “vintage” jazz scene. The group, led by composer/arranger/drummer – Josh Collazo, prides itself on performing original compositions in a style that is reminiscent of the famous jazz & swing artists of the 1930s & 1940s.”
Not a local band (they are from France), but has played here several times. My favorite electroswing band! – Brian
Crown City Bombers
CROWN CITY BOMBERS has been together 10 years, playing classic Rockabilly, early R & B, Rock n Roll of the 50’s & early 60’s, as well as rockin’ originals with a vintage feel. CC Bombers has a loyal following and are regulars on the So.Cal roots scene, car shows, Viva Las Vegas, etc. Our brand new CD is out now!! Just released @Viva Las Vegas festival!!
Dave Stuckey & the Hot House Gang
“Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang is a hard-swinging, take-no-prisoners aggregation, playing the standards and not-so-standards from the 1920s & 30s …and whose main objective is to bring the heat, get you outta your seat, and provoke you to move your feet. Bringing with him a Murderer’s Row of torrid trad jazz operators from the wilds of Los Angeles, Stuckey’s outfit channels an Eddie Condon small-group drive with jiving vocals that might conjure thoughts of Wingy Manone or Fats Waller. Calling all cats – that stuff is here and it’s anything but mellow!”
“Deke Dickerson has devoted his long career to keeping America’s roots music alive while interjecting new creativity into genres of music that flourished in decades previous.”
” The Dustbowl Revival is what you could call an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members — and they play it all, mashing the sounds of traditional American music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party that coaxes new fire out of familiar coal “
The Fabus Four / Five
“The Fabus Five is comprised of young and emerging musicians from Long Beach, California. This group was started by saxophonist Jason Fabus in hopes to explore new and groundbreaking areas of music, while still maintaining the hard-swinging style of the older jazz tradition. Almost two years running, the group is led by both Fabus and trumpeter Drew Ninmer, who had moved out to California from Wisconsin and Illinois respectively. The Five includes Fabus on alto saxophone, along with Drew Ninmer (trumpet), Kyle Schafer or Matthew Peterson (piano), Chelsea Stevens (bass), and Gareth Price (drums). Every member of the ensemble contributes original compositions and arrangements for the group, including the music of Christian Scott, Roy Hargrove, The Brian Blade Fellowship, and more. We know that you will enjoy the versatility that The Fabus Five has to offer, so please come out and see us soon!”
Holy Crow Jazz Band
“Based in Los Angeles, Holy Crow Jazz Band performs old-time jazz and blues from the 1900s throughout the 1930s. The band’s repertoire includes many popular and obscure songs recorded by such artists as King Oliver, Bessie Smith, Bix Beiderbecke, Jabbo Smith, Louis Armstrong, Cliff Edwards, as well as original compositions.”
“Exciting, intelligent, and fun, the Cats could swing any nightclub in the Golden Age of Jazz, yet they deliver a show audiences connect with today. “
“Obscure, Naughty, & Lovely songs from the 1910’s, 1920’s, & 1930’s. We hope to wow you with our tunes of Old Time Jazz, Rag-Time, Blues and Novelty Songs.”
Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five Featuring Hilary Alexander
“Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, featuring Hilary Alexander is a septet dedicated to preserving the classic and often overlooked small group swing from the late 1930s and early 1940s. Founded by two dedicated swing dancers, the Campus Five was a way to expose many dancers and listeners alike to some of the more interesting and under-appreciated tunes from the swing era, while still being the most danceable band playing swing today. The Campus Five picks tunes from the books of notable small groups as the Benny Goodman Sextet, Count Basie’s Kansas City Six/Seven, Artie Shaw and His Gramercy Five, as well as the small groups of Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet, Cootie Williams, Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, and Coleman Hawkins, and features vocal numbers from Ella Mae Morse, Anita O’Day, Peggy Lee and the young Ella Fitzgerald.”
Lil’ Mo and the Dynaflos
“Almost 15 years playing uptempo dancible Doo-Wop worldwide, selling out from Tokyo to Paris! The Dynaflo’s set consists of some obscure 50’s-60’s Doo Wop, some standards and some original tunes. Something for everyone! They blend their style of 50’s, 60’s, Doo Wop and R&B, with a rockin’ band. Combine that with a high energy stage show and you’ll find one undeniably fun, hard working, Doo Wop group that is hard to ignore. “
Lizzy & the Triggermen
“10-piece jazz sensations” – LA Weekly
“one of the hottest swing bands in LA” – Good Day LA
“makes vintage jazz red hot” – OC Weekly
Marquis & the Rhythm Howlers
Evil Swing “cigarette-sodden alley music that feels like grubby prayers to a wheezing god.” Kerrang Mag. – RIYL: GHOST, Cab Calloway, The Doors, Twin TempleSordid Tangos & Twisted Trad. – Skeleton Masks & Minor Keys. Cab Calloway & Alice Cooper had Adam Ant raise their love child. Plaguing the City of Angels and wherever else Halloween is EVERY DAY.
Maureen and the Mercury 5
“MAUREEN & THE MERCURY 5 blend raging Rockabilly, sultry Blues, and toe-tappin’ Swing into a sound for fans of IMELDA MAY, BRIAN SETZER, AMY WINEHOUSE and even THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS.”
Mora’s Modern Rhythmists
Authentic jazz from the 20s and 30s. A dancer favorite and one of the original house bands from the Derby! – Brian
Pete Jacobs Wartime Radio Revue
“Pete Jacobs Wartime Radio Revue is a wartime themed 1940’s big band. Formed in November of 1997, they quickly established themselves with appearances at The Hollywood Bowl, New York’s Lincoln Center Performing Arts Center, and a regular at Disneyland.” (And at PBDA! – Brian)
Petunia and the Vipers
‘Petunia & the Vipers’ sound may not sit comfortably in one certain genre, but “Good Music” describes it well. Hank Williams on acid… Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s Hobo junction… Avant-Country night club scene music… One of the best bands in the world today, of any kind… hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show… A new music that springboards off of music of the past and jumps into the present day, left with only echoes of the past… Something in between 1920’s and steam punk. It’s good for your mind… These are just a few of the words uttered by folks around the globe trying to pin down a description of all that is Petunia & The Vipers.’
Phat Cat Swinger
“Phat Cat Swinger is the West Coast’s “Little-Big Band” that brings style, class and charisma to every show experience with their retro showmanship and wide range of musical styles in both original music and re-imagined favorites. The band’s ingenious selection of songs have all been inspired by the greats of Frank Sinatra to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy while even incorporating songs and show elements reminiscent of Elton John, Bruno Mars and more!”
I bring to you the music of the 20th Century; otherwise known as the “Great American Songbook”. It was the popular music of the day from the 1920s to the 1960s and still remains a vital part of the repertoire of jazz musicians, who describe such songs simply as “jazz standards”.
“We are a band dedicated to performing the greatest in Classic Jazz, Swing, and Novelty Tunes from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Our blend of hot rhythm, lively vocals, and fine musicianship is hard to beat. Please give us a listen, and look for us if you’re ever in the Southern California area. Thanks, and Keep Swingin’! Jim Ziegler . “
Tim Gill is a dynamic, award-winning vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and tongue-in-cheek comedian who combines timeless love songs, wry knee-slapping humor, and inventive original material; he wraps them in high-octane, hard-swinging arrangements to create a dynamic show that puts an exciting 21st century twist on the iconic Vegas crooner image. This Downbeat Award-Winning performer has appeared on Good Day LA and the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and at prominent SoCal venues that include Disneyland, the Honda Center, and the world-famous Cicada Club.
How You Can Help
I know I missed a lot of great bands as I hastily threw this together. Please leave a comment below with your favorite band, along with a link. If they are reasonably popular in the LA area, I’ll add them. – Brian