The big band bounce
By SETH TRUSCOTT
Snoqualmie Valley Record Editor
June 23, 2009 · Updated 1:55 PM
The big band era continues to bounce on for North Bend resident Harley Brumbaugh and his seven-man band, the Horns A’ Plenty.
Friends and musicians who’ve traveled, laughed and cried together, some for nearly 60 years, the Horns A’ Plenty have put out their first album, S’Wonderful, and play at 6 p.m. Friday, June 26, at the Sno Valley Eagles Lodge, 8200 Railroad Ave.
Admission is free, but listeners may find themselves tapping their toes or stepping onto the dance floor.
Members of the Horns A’ Plenty are a versatile bunch. After years of touring and regular performances, including as the house band for dance classes at Seattle Center, this group hits gigs ready to play.
“We’ve probably never had a rehearsal,” said Brumbaugh, the sole Valley resident on the band. “What you see on stage is what we’ve accumulated through the years.”
Members of the Horns have played with greats including Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Torme, Bob Hope, Eartha Kitt, the Andrews Sisters, as well as the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera Association.
The core of their sound is what Brumbaugh calls “the Great American Songbook,” the sounds of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. There’s a sprinkling of rock and roll, and much older tunes.
“We really try to bounce off the audience, to see where they’re coming from,” Brumbaugh said. “We take an awful lot of requests.”
The Horns A’ Plenty do their best to fit the music to the party and not drown the audience out.
“When you see people having to lean into each other to talk, we cut the volume,” Brumbaugh said. “We want to be part of the gathering. I know people sense that.”
Their sound helps to bring back the art of dancing.
When Brumbaugh was younger, “dancing was the big social thing,” he said. “I know people who got married because of their dance ability — or got divorced because of it.”
Some bands can play dance music, but they won’t get it right if the musicians don’t dance.
“You can’t hit the right tempo unless you know the dance yourself,” said Brumbaugh, who always sways a few times before he starts the song. “I’m feeling the dance tempo.”
• The Horns A’ Plenty’s first album, S’ Wonderful, will be available at their June 26 show at the Snoqualmie Eagles lodge. The band will autograph albums at the show. To learn more about ordering an abum, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Contact Snoqualmie Valley Record Editor Seth Truscott at email@example.com or 1-425-888-2311.