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Playing this summer: The Palominos

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2011PROFILE: St. Louis has a strong musical heritage in blues, R&B, jazz and rock. But not as much emphasis is put on the area's country music roots. That country and western swing sound is currently being championed by a diverse group of musicians who play together in various bands such as the Palominos, the Notable Haberdashers and Colonel Ford.

Key personnel who play in some or all of these bands include dobro and pedal steel player Bob Breidenbach, drummer Fred Gumear, fiddle player Justin Branum, bassist Vince Corkery and vocalist and guitarist John Jump. Breidenbach and Jump's musical history goes back more than three decades; and over the years, younger musicians like 28-year-old Branum (who is currently the Grand Master Fiddle Champion of the U.S.) have joined in.

According to Jump, when he and the rest of the Palominos get together to play, the emphasis is on traditional country music and Western swing - the kind of music that was heard on the radio from the late 1940s through the early '60s.

"It's old school country and honky-tonk with some fiddle music mixed it," explains Jump. "We want people to just have a great time, enjoy the music and maybe get up and dance." You can do this Sunday, Aug. 14 in a free concert at Carondolet Park in south St. Louis from 6-8 pm.

Here's some more info on the Palominos - provided by guitarist/vocalist John Jump.

HOME: St. Louis

AGE: The band has been together in this formation for two years. Most of the members of the band have been playing together for many years in various bluegrass, folk, or western swing bands, such as the Notable Haberdashers, Colonel Ford and others. The Palominos is the latest and best band made up of these current members.

INSTRUMENTS: Double bass fiddle, guitars, lap steel guitars, drums, fiddle.

HOBBIES: We all have various hobbies, some that we share. Here are a few: fishing, lawn and garden care, teaching music, recorded music collecting - including vinyl albums, 45s and 78s. Fred, our drummer is a disc jockey on public radio station KDHX on Saturday afternoons.

LAST CONCERT ATTENDED: The Time Jumpers at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Playing at the Webster Groves Art & Air Fair at Eden Seminary, which was so much fun it ought to be illegal!

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: We love the music we play and feel that the genre needs supporters and players who can recreate on a similar level, the feeling of the time, place and fun that the music enjoyed during its peak years in the 1950s and 1960s. We want to create an atmosphere where people can get away from the stress of modern life and simply feel good about what they hear and see on stage. There are no hidden agendas in our music. It is simply straight ahead dance music that you can enjoy without any interpretation needed.

QUOTE: " "If you ain't lovin', then you ain't livin'" ... Tommy Collins (lyrics he wrote for a song recorded by Faron Young)

Carondolet Park Concert Series

Sponsored by the Carondolet Community Betterment Federation, this venerable series is in its 23rd year of presenting free concerts on Sundays in the summer.

But there's one big change this year. The classic bandstand that served as the stage for the concerts and dated back to the World War I era, burned down on June 7. The series has continued on, with bands performing on a portable trailer stage.

Concerts begin at 6 p.m. and go until 8 p.m. Lawn chairs or blankets are advised, and you may bring coolers with food and your choice of beverages. The Palominos concert is the final performance in this year's series. For more information, go to www.carondoletevents.com.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer who has long covered the St. Louis music scene.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.

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