Polka on!

Making the middle-aged dance like chickens Posted by Hello

It’s somewhat heartwarming to see both young and (almost) old looking foolish and not really giving a damn. Brave Combo seems to have that influence on people with their strange but groovy blend of music stew making even the most staid pat their feet.

Brave Combo played last night in their hometown of Denton, Texas, at the Denton Arts and Jazz Fest. The band has been around forever, okay, 25 years. I’ve seen them several times including in the 100-degree Labor Day tents at West Fest, the Czech festival just north of Waco. The band has been acclaimed and won Grammy awards for its so-called “nuclear polka.” But these guys fuse a little of everything into the mix — polka, zydeco, Tex-Mex, rock, big band — and somehow it all works.

In Grateful Dead, cult-like fashion last night, the combo’s “Chicken Dance” started playing and youngsters as well as middle-aged folks in their “Save the Planet” T-shirts began to obediently dance as a chicken would, provided the chicken had an iota of rhythm. In addition to the old standard polkas such as “In Heaven There Is No Beer,” I like their whimsical tunes such as “Flying Saucer:”

I want to see something not from Earth,
Something new to understand,
Something way beyond sex, death, or birth,
Or playing music in this band.

A mild 1st day of May, an admission-free festival, Brave Combo, and dogs, plenty of dogs including those wearing bandana AND sunglasses. I’ve spent worse Sundays.

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