Contra dance lessons with Becca Impello • Saturday • 1:30 p.m.
Contrary to what you might have heard, contra dance is easy. It’s just a mode of folk dancing, done by couples facing each other but standing in really, really long lines. Sound fun? It is. But don’t take our word for it. Just get your feet to the Dance Depot dance floor on Saturday afternoon, and caller Becca Impello will tell you what to do with them next.
Herb Trotman & Friends (w/ caller Becca Impello) • 2 p.m.
The king of Fretted Instruments and fretted instruments, “Mr. Banjo” Herb Trotman will apply his musical prowess to providing a contra dance soundtrack on Saturday afternoon, with help from mandolin player Jason Bailey, guitarist Dwayne Tew and vocalist Kathy Hinkle.
Walk the Floor Lesson (w/ Pat Shelby and Robert Williams) • 3:15 p.m.
Buck Owens sang about walking the floor but gave no indication as to how it was done. His song suggests some sleep deprivation was involved, but you’ll probably do better at following Pat Shelby and Robert Williams if you’ve had a few winks.
Alabama Blues Machine • 3:45 p.m.
When the Alabama Blues Machine decided to perform in the Magic City Blues Society’s 2008 “Battle of the Blues Bands,” the eight-piece band had only played five gigs ever. What’s more, the ABM had the last time slot on the bill, which meant they had half a dozen tough acts to follow. Happily, the battle ended with a vision-of-the-world-to-come moment – the last shall be first, etc. Alabama Blues Machine was named the best blues band in Alabama and represented the blues society at the International Blue Challenge in Memphis in February.
Heavy on horns (trumpet, trombone and sax, played by Rick White, Mike Lingo and John Remley, respectively), the ABM is led by guitarist Ross Roberts, best known for his decades in Cozy and Dick’s Hat Band. Clay Swafford, Eric Onimus and Bruce Andrews complete the trio, playing keyboard, bass and harmonica, in that order.
Foxtrot Lesson (w/ Liz Fowler & Jeff DeLucas) • 6 p.m.
Two slow steps, two quick steps; two slow steps, two quick steps; two slow steps, two quick steps; two slow steps, two quick steps; two slow steps, two quick steps; two slow steps, two quick steps, on and on like that, in 4/4-time, until the music stops. Think of a horse walking with its front legs and trotting with its hind legs. Think of a horse, but don’t look at your feet. Or just watch Fowler and DeLucas, and just fake it as best you can.
Joe Giattina Orchestra • 5:30 p.m.
Joe Giattina died in 1998, but the orchestra that carries his name (for good reason) keeps swinging. This homegrown orchestra is known for taking the year out with big band bang at The Club, and for making sure that wedding parties, debutante balls, and a multitude of other parties get on their feet and stay there.
The Joe Giattina Dance Orchestra started out as Joe Giattina and the Bama Cardinals. When Giattina turned the band over to Don Cornutt in 1992, it adopted its current moniker to honor its former leader. The 17-piece orchestra is currently directed by Bill Jeffries, who has been playing in and directing swing bands since his days at Bessemer High School.
This group will take you back to the glory days of big band music when they play swing standards like those made famous by Etta James and the Rat Pack.
Cajun Jig-Step (w/ Ron Sumera) • 6:45 p.m.
The jig-step is the simplest step there is in Cajun dance. Once you know what to do, then laissez les bons temps rouler!
Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars • 7:15 p.m.
Raised on the Cajun and zydeco sounds of Southwest Louisiana and the groove of New Orleans, Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars, create a unique blend of South Louisiana rhythm and soul. Roddie's passionate vocals, pumping accordion, and mastery of the slide guitar lead the funkified groove of this talented band — all of it perfect for Cajun, zydeco, and swing dancing. OffBeat Magazine calls the music of this Grammy-nominated band, “kick-butt Cajun music and zydeco!”
Lil’ Malcolm & the House Rockers • 9:15 p.m.
A simple recipe for great dance music calls for a lot of funky zydeco and a dash of Texas blues. Lil' Malcolm & The House Rockers focus on pure, solid, great-for-dancing zydeco. Accordionist Lil' Malcolm Walker leads the five-man group, backed up by his brother, Percy Walker, Jr. on drums. Their father, PercyWalker, Sr., often travels with them. He’s a musician himself, and a long-time student of the traditional zydeco sound of Clifton Chenier, Rockin’ Sydney, and Rockin' Dopsie. The group puts a strong emphasis on creating live shows that are exciting and fun. "We want the crowd to enjoy the music with us!” says Percy Walker, Sr.