And it’s a wrap. All good things things come to an end, and so does this summer’s Taos Plaza Live weekly concert series. Thursday (Aug. 31), 6-8 p.m., Taos’ talented Big Swing Theory closes out the series with a swingin’, jump-jive good time.
Taos Plaza Live is produced by Taos County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local businesses. The free and family-friendly concerts take place at the historic Taos Plaza.
Dressed in suits and fedoras, Big Swing Theory aims to re-create the groomed look common to many blues and swing musicians of the 1940s and ‘50s. The band’s music is mostly original songs, but the group’s style draws from artists such as Muddy Waters, Junior Watson, Louis Jordan, Hollywood Fats, Big Joe Turner, Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon.
Big Swing Theory is a four-piece band with Jackson Price on vocals and guitar, Conrad Cooper on upright bass and vocals, Jeremy Jones on saxophone and Max Moulton on drums. The band has been together for eight years now, and the members are close friends offstage. This makes for an easygoing rapport among the bandmates when they perform and adds to their ability to play with artistic abandon. They support each other and it shows.
“We all get along really well together, which is really nice in a band,” Moulton said. “It helps when you’re friends and you get along regardless of what happens.”
Cooper adds, “After playing together for that long, we can kind of read each other’s minds. … It’s almost like finishing each other’s sentences, but in a good way. We’re all on the same page, speaking the same language. It’s a good deal, comfortable.”
Price and Cooper are the main songwriters of the band, with all members contributing to musical arrangements. At this point, Price said the band has about five hours’ worth of material.
Price said, “I’ve got more songs than I can have the band play.” Cooper admits he is not as prolific as Price. “For me, it’s not that easy,” he said, remarking that for him, songwriting is a cathartic process, “like giving birth.”
In addition to performing with Big Swing Theory, Price has a regular Tuesday night gig at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership with his blues band, Jackson Price and the Blue Rockets.
Cooper teaches seventh- and eighth-grade English and language arts at Anansi Charter School. Jones is the director of Taos Charter School. Moulton runs a web development company, is co-owner of radio station KNCE-FM 93.5 and plays in a number of bands.
Big Swing Theory plays on the first Friday of every month at the Taos Inn and will perform next on Friday (Sept. 1). In addition, the band will be performing ZZ Top covers for Jimmy Stadler’s “Off the Cuff” show at KTAOS Solar Center on Sept. 18.
For more information on the Taos Plaza Live concert series, call the Taos County Chamber of Commerce at (575) 751-8800 or visit taoschamber.com. For more information on Big Swing Theory, visit the band’s website at thebigswingtheory.com.