Welcome to the AL WILLIS & the New Swingsters website!
I've started playing music for one reason...(no, it’s not to impress girls!): my passion for 1950s Rock & Roll and the urge to meet people playing that style of music. More than anything else, I was eager to learn how it was done!!!
Back in the 1990s, it was almost like living in another world: no internet, no cell phones, therefore no Facebook or YouTube or anything like that. If you wanted to see somebody play a guitar solo or use an upright bass, you had to walk, drive or take a train / plane to see real-life musicians play. For me, being involved in a band meant I could approach the musicians I admired, watch their show & even talk to them. Deal!
After all those years, I still basically love the same things and enjoy the thrill of playing for an audience – giving my very best & sweating on stage so that people can have a good time! Nothing fancy - the 3 of us are true Rock & Roll lovers trying to pass along the exciting music that makes us vibrate.
My pals Pascal Albrecht (upright bass) & Red Dennis (drums) have been playing Rock-a-Billy since the 1980s and you may have seen them with many different bands. Together, we kinda mix all the recipes we've learned: Early Elvis, Gene Vincent, Bill Haley, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Bob Luman, Sleepy Labeef, Hayden Thompson or Mac Curtis (and the list could go on & on). Our sound is inspired by Sun or Starday records and even shows spurs of Country & Western...
We don't try to replicate anything note for note. Music is a language and we aim at delivering it in our way. Of course, we play covers because people understandably like to hear some but also some self-penned songs because the 1950s are long-gone and this music doesn't belong to a museum...we feel the need to keep the spirit going!
Come along and enjoy!