SWAG : BAND
Incorporating the Hillbilly All-Stars & The Mavericks
SWAG/Hillbilly All-Stars/ Mavericks
Jerry Dale McFadden
SWAG/Hillbilly All-Stars/ Mavericks
Hillbilly All-Stars/ Mavericks
SWAG was originally conceived by keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden and guitarist Robert Reynolds while touring together with The Mavericks. Over thousands of miles and countless hours, they shared their mutual love of pop music and the concept of a utopian pop-rock band. SWAG was to be a project without musical confines where members would come and go as their schedules permitted. The first songs were born on that tour bus and in countless hotels throughout the US.
Once back home in Nashville, a recording session was booked and the two called some of their favorite players, who also happened to be their closest friends. It was during these sessions that drummer Ken Coomer (from Wilco) joined the group, and soon after solo artist/guitarist Doug Powell.
Doug Powell, Ken Coomer, Robert Reynolds, Jerry Dale McFadden, Warren Pash, 2001
Getting all of the SWAG members together was challenging at times, but not for a lack of desire. Between 1996 and 2001, SWAG was able to create and release music, as well as perform a few live dates around Nashville, even if it was on a limited scale. Staying true to their utopian ideals, they still invited friends to join in whenever possible. Guests over the years have included Rick Neilson and Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, Paul Deakin of the Mavericks, Bill Lloyd, and Brad Jones. Brad has produced all of the recordings, as well as the first full-length SWAG album, ‘Catch-all’ (2001). Doug, Jerry Dale, Ken and Robert share on all the vocals, as well as trading off instrumental duties. Special appearances on this album include: Bill Lloyd (guitar and vocals), Mavericks horn player Scotty Huff (vocals, trumpet, and guitar), and Kenny Vaughn (guitar). ‘Catch-all’ compiles four previously released tracks with eight new songs and is available on CD and limited edition vinyl LP.
‘Catch-all’ embodies both the fun-loving nature of SWAG and their amazing combined songwriting skills. Brit Pop meets punk in this mix of tunes so hummable they’re honestly addictive. ‘Catch-all’ is a love poem to ‘60s pop and garage rock and elements of The Zombies, Kinks, Beach Boys and even Cheap Trick are found in these songs. Even with this derivation it’s pulled together into a sound that’s uniquely and irrefutably SWAG.
Response to SWAG has been both amazing and overwhelming. Since the release, the band has played tour dates that included SXSW, performances on syndicated radio shows World Café and Fresh Air, the Conan O’Brien show, and the distinct honor of being Mitch Albom’s CD Pick of the Week on MSNBC. During this time the members of SWAG realized this was more than a side project for them. Because they love working together, they’ve now made a stronger commitment to see this project through to its full potential, which includes active touring, press and promotion of the record.
The members of SWAG have individually logged in many musical hours. The word “supergroup” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to describing SWAG. Their list of accomplishments is long but emphasis on the music and their dynamic live performances are what the members of SWAG would like to focus on. As Rick Cornell of No Depression put it, “It makes more sense to think of SWAG as a stellar ensemble cast than a supergroup – say, the ‘Hill Street Blues’ of pure pop.”
Jerry Dale McFadden
Jerry Dale McFadden spent six years writing, recording and performing with the Grammy award-winning artists, The Mavericks. His keyboards, vocals and famed flamboyant dances and clothing (let’s talk turkey, we love his dressing!) have wowed audiences around the world. In addition to the release of two solo albums, he’s written songs with Cheap Trick, Jason and The Scorchers and The Mavericks. Over the years, he has performed with Jill Sobule, Cheap Trick, Trent Summar and the New Row Mob, and Sixpence None the Richer. Jerry Dale’s distinctive vocals keep fans coming back for more SWAG.
Born in Cooper, TX, Jerry Dale grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. When he was in the second grade, his parents traded a boat for a piano so that he could take lessons. Jerry Dale moved to Nashville to attend college at Belmont, and quickly made a name for himself around town, playing in live shows and even recording an album in 1986, called 'Stand and Cast a Shadow'. During his travels with the Mavericks, he still meets people from all over the country who own that record, including 'Smilin' Jay from BR549, who told JD that listening to it inspired him to move to Nashville.
In 1995, Jerry Dale met Raul Malo at a writers' night at which they were both performing. Raul played first, but stayed to listen to Jerry Dale playing accordion and singing with a friend. When he was finished, Raul asked if he also played piano, and if he'd be interested in playing with The Mavericks. After jamming with the entire band a few months later, Jerry Dale played his first gigs with them during their trip to Brazil later that year. By the time Jerry Dale played his first gig in Nashville with the band, he was so well-known to local club owners that the band's show was billed as 'The Mavericks featuring Jerry Dale McFadden.'
Robert Reynolds & Paul Deakin
Robert Reynolds and Paul Deakin are founding members of The Mavericks. Starting the group in Miami, FL., Reynolds, Deakin and company brought back life into the sterile commercial country music world with their mix of traditional country, latin, torch song and rock’n’roll. The band has seen success all over the world, including a summer smash in the UK in ’98 when ‘Dance The Night Away’ stayed in the Top 10 for 10 weeks. The band have taken home numerous awards, including Grammys, CMA Awards and American Music Awards.
Robert's first musical memories are of the Kingston Trio, the country jukebox at the local hang-out, The Beatles, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Although he was born in Kansas City, MO, Robert's family moved to Dallas when he was 5, so most of his earliest recollections come from his years living there.
Like his taste in diverse styles of music, his interest in flea markets began in those early days in Dallas, too. During a trip to the local flea market with his mom, who bought and sold items there, Robert remembers his first purchase was some James Bond action figures, one of which he still has: a figure from Dr No.When Robert was 10, the family moved again, this time to Miami. It was there that he began his considerable record collection, and taking guitar lessons at age 15. By 16, he had formed his own band, The Earthtones, which played music by some of the same artists who influenced The Mavericks: Hank Williams Sr., Elvis, Chuck Berry, and especially Buddy Holly. The Earthtones even recorded a single or two of their original songs.
When another future Maverick played at a local club, Robert happened to be in the audience, and although he didn't know him at the time, struck up a conversation with Paul Deakin. 'We talked about movies and music and found we had the same interests; it was magical - it was just too bad he wasn't a woman', jokes Robert. His meeting with Raul occurred in much the same way, only this time it was Raul who came to see Robert's band. They decided to put a band together, and the rest is Maverick history.
The band was a turning point for Robert in another way, because it was pretty much the first time he'd played bass guitar - before getting together with Paul and Raul, he played rhythm guitar and Raul played bass.
Robert likes to collect autographs and other music memorabilia. He also collects old toys, and still enjoys searching antique stores and flea markets whenever he has time. In April 2014, CMT broadcast the first of a 10-show series entitled Raiders of Rock in which Robert and Stephen Shutts toured the US seeking out musical memorabilia. See News page item dated March 28, 2014.
Paul Deakin's tastes and interests are as diverse as The Mavericks' musical styles. Paul was born in Ohio, but moved to Miami when he was eight years old. He began playing drums at 12, and says his first one was a toy marching drum which he broke while using it to launch rocks. 'Of course, I blamed it on Billy Corbett, the neighborhood bully', Paul admits.
After making his 'professional' debut playing 'China Grove' at the age of 13, Paul went on to play in various bands during high school. One of them, called The Garage Band, also worked as a lawn service, and was the inspiration for the title of one of The Mavericks' albums years later: The Garage Band had business cards that read 'Lawn Service and Music For All Occasions.'
Paul and Robert first met at one of Paul's gigs, which he describes as 'one of my least favorite gigs ever, but at least something good came out of it.' They discovered that they had a lot of musical tastes and other interests in common. He met Raul Malo when Raul was only 15; he offered to carry Paul's drums for him, and according to Paul 'that was the last time he offered to!'
At the time, Paul was teaching drums and guitar both privately and at the local junior high school, and had been listening to everything from Gene Krupa's Big Band to Patsy Cline to The Clash, so he had the perfect musical background to play all the styles the three band members were into.
Paul's knowledge of all kinds of drum styles has led him to gigs with several local pop bands, as well as recording for alternative country acts Bob Woodruff and Lucinda Williams. He also joins Robert and Jerry Dale for their periodic forays into pop music as SWAG. And Paul has lent his musical skills to a Nashville favorite, David Mead. With his ability to play everything from Latin to reggae rhythms, vibraphone to bongos and big band to pop music, Paul Deakin is definitely the driving force behind the eclectic sounds of The Mavericks.
July 2001 (updated March 2015)