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Playing Around: The Rhythm Brothers 

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Surely somewhere there is a bumpersticker reading simply, "Django Lives." And surely, when this bumpersticker is found, it will be affixed to the boot of a car belonging to one of The Rhythm Brothers, a swing guitar quartet from sunny California.

The Brothers attack the intoxicating melodies of Paris' Hot Club and imbibe them with our own Johnny Smith's easy jazz sensibility. The outcome is a timeless master blend of well-timed banjo picking, vintage stringwork, nostalgic guitar and a heapin' helpin' of doghouse bass. This is acoustic gypsy jazz at its finest, clad in a red dress and cloaked in cigarette smoke.

At the helm of The Rhythm Brothers are award-winning guitarist, singer and composer Raul Reynoso and banjo-playing comedian Doug Mattocks. Reynoso's delicate, nimble style is regarded as one of the world's greatest, undoubtedly influenced by Reinhardt and Grappelli. Mattocks first found influence in Dixieland and bluegrass before turning to traditional jazz, performing with The Statler Brothers and on The Grand Ole Opry. Born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Mattocks naturally developed a Southern charm and gentle wit that he brings to each performance. Between this warm, engaging stage presence and Reynoso's confident swing, The Rhythm Brothers slap a smile on an audience quicker than you can say "Moonlight in Vermont."

The Rhythm Brothers perform Friday night at Black Rose's Thanks To Our Members Concert, in the old log cabin community center just north of the Fire Station in Black Forest, at the corner of Shoup and Black Forest roads. Tickets run from $8 to $18 (you don't have to be a member to attend). Call 495-9654.

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