The Western Flyers

The Western Flyers When the Western Flyers were named the "Best Western Swing Band" at the 2017 Ameripolitan Awards held in Austin, Texas, the prize cemented the trio’s quick rise to the top of the Western Swing field. Playing the same blend of hot Texas fiddling, hillbilly music, country blues and big-band swing that made Bob Wills and Spade Cooley so popular in the ‘30s and ‘40s, the Western Flyers have kept that sound alive for a new generation. Joey McKenzie, a three-time World Champion Fiddler, first passed the torch on to the Quebe Sisters by giving the three siblings fiddle & vocal lessons for 12 years and serving as the guitarist and arranger for the band, which became a popular international touring act. During those tours, McKenzie established a rare rhythmic rapport with upright bassist Gavin Kelso, and the two decided to branch off into a band of their own. They added National Swing Champion fiddler/singer Katie Glassman, and in 2015, The Western Flyers were born. “We find inspiration from the historic Western Swing bands,” McKenzie says, “but also from the music of Ray Price, the Sons of the Pioneers, Benny Goodman, the Hot Club of France and many more. We try to honor the greats by playing music with the same skill, passion, and attention to detail they strove to achieve and we hope that if Bob Wills magically walked in to a Western Flyers show that he would say "Ahhhh, haaaw, I like that band!" The band’s debut album, “Wild Blue Yonder,” injects new life into Western Swing by digging up a little-heard Cindy Walker song, “You’re from Texas,” and adding mainstream country hits from Mel Tills and Pee Wee King as well as jazz standards associated with Fats Waller and Joe Venuti. Throw in a Roy Rogers cowboy chestnut and a medley of Texas fiddle tunes, and you have a refreshingly new repertoire played in the classic western swing way. Touring behind their critically acclaimed debut release, Wild Blue Yonder, the new album explodes with the influence of this storied genre, and if Bob Wills was listening offstage he’d be smiling in approval. "I love The Western Flyers. Their music makes me smile. When I listen to them play I know that I am in the presence of modern masters in motion.” - Marty Stuart “Together they not only perform in this oft-neglected style of Texas music from the 1940s, they do so with a brilliance and panache that will draw in any fans of traditional American string music.” - Bluegrass Today “The most wonderful modern take on post-war Western Swing” – Country Music People (UK) "Somewhere, Bob Wills is smiling" - No Depression "Definitely a band to watch out for!" - Maverick Magazine

Posts that The Western Flyers has contributed.

Article

Glen Campbell

Remembering Bob Wills

Article

Remembering Bob Wills

Rest in Peace: Royce Franklin, Texas Guitar Legend

Article

Rest in Peace: Royce Franklin, Texas Guitar Legend