Named for the predecessor of Lake Travis’ Mansfield Dam, the band’s roots were planted in 2003 by Greg Harkins.Raised on Willie Nelson and Bob Wills the the bands interest in swing music took them to Johnny Gimble’s swing camp in Taos, N.M., where they met Emily and knew they had to start playing with her regularly.
The band persuaded Emily to move from Waco to Austin and brought in bassist Kristopher Wade and drummer James Gwyn to complete the quartet. Since then, it’s been delighting fans with its upbeat swing and guitar magic in Austin and beyond.
Fans of the Marshall Ford Swing Band will get a heavy dose of Emily’s sultry vocals, Greg’s playful guitar phrasings, and Kris and James’ tight rhythm section on this year’s IT’S ABOUT DAM TIME, the band’s first full-length studio album. Recorded at Austin’s famed Tequila Mockingbird Studios and produced by Danny Levin, the album showcases the band’s healthy dose of original tracks — each member contributed at least one song — along with some of Western swing’s most beloved standards.
Altogether, the album proves to be a welcome introduction to members of Marshall Ford Swing Band, modern day carriers of western swing’s torch.
“A lot of people I know will play swing music,” says Emily, “but it’s not the same as with these guys. We pull off Western swing very well. It’s special.”