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Playing Around: Easy Bill and the Big Beat 

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It's not surprising that Swing in the Springs booked The Big Beat for their Fall Swing Fling. Led by the seemingly reserved, casually debonair Easy Bill, the band are masters of the rollicking shuffle, infectious jump and all-over vintage vibe.

Originally from New York, Bill moved to Denver over four years ago and has since come to appreciate the Front Range's strong support for The Big Beat's kind of music.

"The scene here is mature -- for the kind of music I play, it's easier to start playing out. Plus, here, I was exposed to West Coast blues. If I were in New York, I don't know if I'd have ever been hip to that."

West Coast blues has become an Easy Bill mainstay. The 28-year-old guitarist describes the Big Beat's sound as real rhythm & blues -- "rock 'n' roll before white people started playing it."

"It's fun to play that basic blues, [Jimmy Reed]style too but, something with chord changes, breaks -- something different -- is more fun to play, more fun to dance to ... I guess that why people like it so much."

Easy Bill and the Big Beat provide the music; you provide the swing at Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave. Tickets are $15 or $12 in advance. Call 232-6453. Catch a free swing lesson at 7:30 p.m., the dancing starts at 8. Check out

www.bigbeatblues.com for more.

-- Kristen Sherwood

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