The Dirty River Dixie Band was founded in 2014 after two music students at Texas Lutheran University were wowed by a live show of the San Antonio-based Jim Cullum Jazz band and decided to pursue something similar themselves. Jim Cullum has since served as a mentor for the band, helping them hone their authentic early jazz sound. The current members are all now music educators and their enthusiasm shows on this fresh-off-the-presses release, Swing That Music, recorded in January 2018.
Founding members Chris Alvarado, (drums, management, and bookings) and Kris Vargas (cornet, vocals) have assembled a great band. On this album new member, Sarah Ulloa, adds excitement to her tracks and another new member Edwin Brown brings it on tuba.
Album cuts are hot but familiar crowd-pleasers that must go off big at their many engagements in the Austin and San Antonio markets. This is a fun, upbeat record with spicy cornet and a Go Big attitude. I’d welcome a chance to catch these guys live. Tracks include “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” “Milenberg Joys,” “West End Blues,” and “Some of these Days.”
The Dirty River Dixie Band: Swing That Music