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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys at the Tip Top

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys core rockabilly sound is full of truthfulness.  Attendees for any show are likely to feel transported back in time as if witnessing the evolution of country boogie into rock-n-roll. Some might feel as though they’re listening to guitar-driven surf from a beach movie on the TCM channel. Their brand of authentic western swing has few equivalents. The Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill welcomes for the first time a genuine Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee in Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys on Sept 30. As accomplished and identifiable as their sound has been for 25 years now, the act wouldn’t be the same without Big Sandy’s front man presence. There are only so many ways to describe the onstage chutzpah of Big Sandy (aka Robert Williams). One of them is to say that Big Sandy the entertainer looks to invigorate a fading show biz tradition every night: the one where laughs are earned the old fashioned way with lively stage banter and wit. “I do like the entertainment aspect,” Big Sandy said. “Some artists just play as in ‘we let the music do the talking.’ I like the entertainment side of the business and the way you present it. It’s kind of a lost art, the whole show business part of it.” Here’s the tip to that success: he got jokes. A little wit in between songs can go a long way. Improvisation helps makes songs sound fresh a little longer; Big Sandy says he tries to keep it interesting by mixing up the set list and doing songs just a little bit different from night to night. Between the music and the stage show it’s safe to say Big Sandy is left to carry on tradition to the unwashed masses. “It becomes second nature after all these years,” Big Sandy said. “We try not to think too hard about it. We don’t want it to be just an old fashioned retro thing but still relevant to now.” Early next year in celebration of their 25th anniversary in show business Big Sandy plans on releasing a new album. “We’ve just finished recording it and we’ll be mixing it when we get back home,” Big Sandy said. “We’ve taken songs off of each our albums and reworked some of them with acoustic versions.” If they were ever to bestow a Country Boogie Entertainer of the Year, Big Sandy  would be a favorite to win. Although currently on tour with Los Straitjackets, BS&FRB Grand Rapids show is theirs to mess up all alone. “This will be first show on this trip without Los Straitjackets,” Big Sandy said. “That’s not the good part. It just means we’ll get to play a little longer.”
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys wsg Delilah DeWlyde & the Lost Boys at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids today at 6:00pm.

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