On my recent trip to Illinois, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a band practice of Doc Watson’s Boot Scootin’ All American Country and Western Band. They played a few songs for me and then I got a chance to ask some questions about the band. Here are some things I learned about Doc Watson’s Boot Scootin’ All American Country and Western Band.
(The first thing I learned was that they call themselves the Boot Scooters for short.)
Who are the members of the Boot Scooters?
There are seven Boot Scooters, six men and one woman. They play a variety of instruments which includes: guitars, drums, violin, steel guitar and occasionally banjo. Vocals are shared between four of the members. The seven members include:
Mike Casey – Violin, Vocalist (Mike owns Casey Music in Oak Park, Illinois – http://www.mcaseymusic.com/)
Tommy Hague – Guitar
Manny Rivera – Guitar, Lead Vocalist, Band Leader
Kieran Setecka – Steel Guitar, Banjo
Christine Setecka – Vocalist
Brad “Doc” Watson – Drums
Bill Zakavec – Bass guitar, Vocalist (Bill also plays with Johnny Chicago Trio – http://www.johnnychicagotrio.com/)
What type of music do they play?
The Boot Scooters aren’t a typical country and western band. They began by playing jazz and blues in May 2008. The band wanted to incorporate the sounds of the steel guitar into their music which led them to the sounds of classic country western swing.
Band leader, Manny Rivera explained that western swing music is based on jazz. Hank Williams and Bob Wills are two of the great country singers he mentioned when describing the music the Boot Scooters play. The band members agreed that the Boot Scooters are a tribute band to the music of some of the late, greats of country music.
The Boot Scooters sing the types of songs that most people recognize. When they play, people join in and start singing along with the band. Some of the songs they perform are: Blue Suede Shoes, Faded Love, Hey Good Lookin’, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Jail House Rock, Route 66, and San Antonio Rose.
The songs they played for me were Route 66 and Time Changes Everything. I couldn’t help tapping my foot to the beat of the music and was tempted to get up and dance. It was great!
Where do the Boot Scooters Perform?
The Boot Scooters can be found performing at fairs, fundraisers and church functions. They mainly play in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
They recently played at a local festival in Portage, Wisconsin. Their next appearance will be at the Sandwich Fair in Sandwich, Illinois on September 9, 2009.
What’s in a Name?
No doubt about it, Doc Watson’s Boot Scootin’ All American Country and Western Band is a long name for a band. How did they come up with it?
The band members agreed that the first member to book a gig would get to name the band. Band member, Brad “Doc” Watson had a friend running for the LaSalle County Board who hired the Boot Scooters to play at a fundraiser. Since “Doc” booked the gig, he got to name the band. His friend helped him come up with Doc Watson’s Boot Scootin’ All American Country and Western Band or Boot Scooters for short.
After taking time for a few pictures, the Boot Scooters got back to practicing. After I left the room, I could hear them begin to play, Hey Good Lookin’. Within seconds, I just couldn’t help it. I started to sing along!
(Learn more about the Doc Watson’s Boot Scootin’ All American Country and Western Band at: http://www.cowjazz.us/)
Band Members of the Boot Scooters