Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cowboy Jazz: "Swing Boogie" and "That's What We Like About The West" Vinyl LP Rips

The text below was shamelessly copied from cyberspace.


Cowboy Jazz existed in a variety of forms during its seven-year history. The band pictured above is likely the band that logged the most miles, though in fairness, it is possible an earlier configuration featuring drummer Charlie Crane holds that distinction.

Taken by Road Manager Nick Sharp, outside Washington DC's legendary rock'n'roll haunt Desperados, this photo became the back photo for the group's second LP, Swing Boogie.

Personnel (L-R) are:

Tony DeFontes (bass), Denise Carlson (fiddle, vocals), Kate Bennett (vocals, rhythm guitar), Barry Sless (lead and steel guitars), Brian Alpert (drums), Deanna Bogart (piano, saxophone, vocals).

"Swing Boogie" [39 Minutes]

"That's What We Like About the West"[40 minutes]
Baby, Don't Call
Cow Cow Boogie
Sugar Moon
Don't Be Blue
Sophisicated Mind
That's What I Like About the West
Too Much Fun
Stickin' to My Honey
Hey, Good Lookin'
Country Blue

Cowboy Jazz's "That's What We Like About the West" is a cross between traditional pop vocal groups, western swing and country-rock -- a unique and heady brew of roots music that never stays in one place for too long. The group runs through a number of standards -- including country songs like "Cow-Cow Boogie" and "Hey Good Lookin'" and pop songs like "Sophisticated Mind" -- as well as originals that are in the same vein. It's great fun that sounds unlike anything in country and roots music. ~ Thom Owens, All Music Guide

This is a vinyl rip from my collection. Enjoy this incredibley awesome band!

37MB, WMA 9.1 64kbps


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. An incredible band. I can remember how much Damian played them. Barry Sless is a great steel player and guitarist, and Deanna Bogart went on to receive fame
with a solo career after the group are bringing back such great music with these postings.
Everyone should download these vinyl rips....FEAST YOUR EARS!!

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas,


WVKayaker said...

Feast on bro!
Thanks again for the feedback Vanfan!
Chicken Legs and Nighthawks up next!

multielvi said...

Thanks for this one. I used to go see them at No Fish Today in Baltimore. They always put on a great show. I have a copy of "That What We Like About The West" but had never heard "Swing Boogie"

By the way Barry Sless is still very active as part of the extended Grateful Dead family. He is a member of the David Nelson Band and has also played with Bob Weir's Ratdog as well as Phil Lesh and Friends.

WVKayaker said...

I've seen Deanna but never Cowboy Jazz. You are fortunate multielvi...
Thanks for the feedback!

JB said...

Oh, I'm SO happy right now, listening to this stuff for the first time in (eek) 20 years.

Thankyou so much for sharing this.

WVKayaker said...

You are welcome, thanks for your comment and hope you find something else here and let me know.

Anonymous said...

Cowboy Jazz considered Colorado their home off the road -- a place to relax and boogie with friends. Once or twice a year they would play at Mishiwaka, a bar and dance hall overhanging the river up Poudre Canyon above Ft. Collins, drawing hundreds from the Boulder-Denver area.

I knew Kate Bennet before CJ was formed -- used to see her sing at parties.

I'm sure I saw CJ play every year from the early 80's into the 90's, and my old LPs of the band were practically worn flat from overplaying.

I lost all of my music in a storage-unit fire in 1996, and have missed CJ greatly. I happened to google CJ today and found your site with this music. It's like reconnecting with a long-lost friend you thought had died. Thanks for making the LP's available.

I have lost contact with Kate (and her husband at the time Ken, who ran the sound and mixed tapes and such). It would be so great for them to reissue the music on CDs!

Oh, as others have said, Barry Sless was such an incredible player. He could actually bend strings on his telecaster and sound like a pedal steel. Glad he's still goin' strong.

Jerry S.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the music after so long got me to wondering what happened to the band members.

I felt a big loss when tracking down Denise and found this entry on the Dead Rock Stars website: "Denise Carlson (Denise A. Carlson-Long) - Died 5-3-2006 ( Western Swing ) Born 4-13-1956 in Rochester, MN, U.S. - Singer and fiddler - Was a member of Everybody And His Brother, Cowboy Jazz and Denise And DeNephews."

Found that Kate Bennett got a degree in music, taught music, did acting, and may even be playing with a country-rock band Pearl Creek.

Dianna Bogart is like real famous -- tons of web sites featuring her, her group, the feature articles in major music magazines, etc.

Brian has a website "" with some stories about the band, particularly one visit to Alaska.

Barry also has a lot of info on the Web, and seems to be playing music with no less passion than when I saw him play so exquisitely.

If you get a chance, do a little Googling cause there's lots of stuff out there about a really unique group - Cowboy Jazz.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate you posting these albums, Kate Bennett, one of the singers in Cowboy Jazz, is my aunt and I grew up listening to them. The albums we have are not in great shape so I never ripped them. It's been a long time since I've heard them.


WVKayaker said...

Jerry, You are too kind for sharing your bit on Cowboy Jazz...thanks from me and others that benefit from feedback like yours!

WVKayaker said...

Thanks for sharing the google stuff and sad to hear about Denise Carlson, I had no idea....

WVKayaker said...

Small world Jackson. Thanks for sharing. We appreciate it!

Jerry Schneider said...

Here's a bit more info about Denise and Cowboy Jazz:

Denise Carlson, born in Rochester, MN, studied classical violin from age 8, winning numerous scholarships and competitions. At age 15 she won a competition which gave her a solo performance with a local symphony featuring a Mozart concerto. High school friends encouraged her to try improvisational techniques where she found a wonderful new outlet and discovered a natural gift to simply play "off the top of my head."

Her first gig came right after high school in Rapid City, SD, playing with the house band in a local club. It was there that she started singing in public. When the opportunity to play with a blue grass band came along, Carlson grabbed her violin and moved west to Denver. It was there that she met musical soul mate Kate Bennett who performed with her and band members as part of the group, Everybody and His Brother. Five years later, Carlson and Bennett moved to the East Coast and formed Cowboy Jazz.

Many tours and years later Carlson was performing freelance work, when she was invited to perform on a local broadcast of Radio from Downtown singing and playing jazz violin where she met and impressed National Public RadioĆ¢€™s (NPR) feature reporter Susan Stamberg. Stamberg enjoyed the performance so much that Carlson was asked for an interview to be aired on the nationally syndicated radio program Weekend Edition Saturday.


WVKayaker said...

When I receive a comment like this with great info on the bands I love, It's what keeps me motivated to keep posting.
Thanks for the feedback!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't thankyou enough. I"ve been looking for these albums for almost 20 years. They were played until the tapes just gave out..I'm from Towson , Md area and remember seeing the band in downtown Baltimore and D.C. many times. I can't wait to get these into my MP3 player and on CD's . You made my day, month and year by sharing.

WVKayaker said...

my pleasure priscilla

Brian Alpert said...

Hi there -- I'm the guy who wrote the copy describing Cowboy Jazz, "shamelessly" copied above. (It is copyrighted you know -- a credit and a link might have been nice!) Having played in Cowboy Jazz for four years, it's very nice to see the comments here. I saw Deanna at a gig just last night and she mentioned this blog to me -- she found it courtesy of Kate. So word DO get around :) A few other bits of stuff worth mentioning -- the band's original drummer, Charlie Crane still lives in Baltimore and gets out to play - sometimes with the Dave Nelson Band. Sadly, the band's second bass player, Tony DeFontes, also died, some years ago, also (like Denise) of a drug overdose. How sad in both cases. Tony and I were close while in the band together; I miss him very much. I am still playing quite a bit, primarily in the DC area, though sometimes the road does call. If anyone wants to read the variety of stories I wrote about my experiences in Cowboy Jazz and other bands, the url is:

Thanks for all the nice comments!

--Brian Alpert

WVKayaker said...

I posted a link this morning for the "shamelessy" copied text from your page. To be honest, I saw no copyrighted notes on that original link, but do apologize and hope you'll forgive me. When I posted this page, I knew next to nothing about the band. And really had no idea anyone else ever heard of them or cared. The response has been overwhelming. I also received several emails from old time fans out there expressing their thanks. Deanna Bogart is the only member that I had even heard of. It is thanks to WHFS that I was turned on to the band and why I actually went out and purchased a couple of their LPs.
My huge regret is never getting to see them live.
Thanks for the feedback Brian...I'll be more careful next time around....

Brian Alpert said...

Hi again -- not a big deal -- all is forgiven! That's a little pop-up sub-page for this story: -- I guess all those pop-ups ought to have (C) verbiage. No biggie -- such are the vagaries of the web and search engines. Again, it's nice to see your, and all, the nice comments so many years later. CBJ played a lot of great music in a lot of great places for (obviously) a lot of nice people. Glad the albums are still putting a few smiles on other nice faces.


WVKayaker said...

Thanks Brian!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for this site!! Denise was my aunt (my favorite aunt, actually). I may be biased, but she was the most musically gifted person I will probably ever know, and was a great inspiration to me. The last few times she came back to Rochester to visit, I was able to play duets with her (me on piano). I had always wanted to play a duet with Aunt Denise, so I'm so happy I was able to do that not once, but twice. :-) Denise's death devastated me, but I have so many great memories of her to make me laugh and smile.


WVKayaker said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your Aunt Denise!
Hope all is well with you and yours...

PineappleSkip said...


Cowboy Jazz music maybe got around more than they knew. I picked up a copy of 'thats what we like about the west' at an import shop in Sydney maybe 20 or 25 years ago, and loved every inch of it. So did all my mates. We never saw or heard or knew any more about them.

My turntable got destroyed a few years after and I didn't hear them again - or any other of my records. Then I found your blog - and hey they sound just as fresh as they ever did.

Particularly enjoyed Sugar Moon, so apt and fortuitous. Its just coming up to June, when they start crushing the Sugar here in Queensland.

Thanks so much for this post.

Cheers PineappleSkip

Camarillo Brillo said...

Awesome to hear feeback all the way from Oz! Hope to hear from you soon!

Riian said...

Wow, thank you so much for posting all of this information. I grew up listening to tapes my father made of both albums during endless road trips through Wyoming in the early 80's. Loved the sound then, love it now and I bet I still remember every word!

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for the feedback...Enjoy!

Steve said...

These two albums are in my top 10 all time favorites. I wish they had record 50 more. I love them and thank you profusely for putting them in digital form. If my vinyl copies ever wear out I have backups. Thank you, thank you.

Camarillo Brillo said...

50 more albums woulda been great Steve!

Anonymous said...

This album was one of my favorites many years ago--I used to play "Too Much Fun" all the time and dance to the song with my little daughters, who are full grown women now. My copy of the album was broken in two (long story), and the album was never issued as a CD, to my knowledge. So I was happy to find your site as I was cruising around the net. Thanks for this blast from the past.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Glad you found it here, and thanks for leaving some feedback!

Michael DEFONTES said...

Today is my brother Tony;s 52nd birthday and I miss him dearly. Nice post from Brian. Regrets about Denise, as I did not know. To Barry, Deanna, and Charlie, keep going for it! Love, Michael DeFontes


Brian, I was going to ask if you were there when you guys hit the poor horse. Tony said all he heard before impact was everyone up front sucking in air....Michael D

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add a big thanks to making this music available. I just saw Barry play with Phil in SF for NYE and it always reminds me of 25-30 years ago. So many years since those incredible nights at No Fish Today. Believe it or not, I still hear Cowboy Jazz occaisionally on the local radio -- KPIG outta Santa Cruz!

Best regards to Balto from San Mateo,
Alan R

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for that Santa Cruz!
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for for posting this. I also saw Cowboy Jazz many time in Baltimore at No Fish Today during my college years. I even used "Baby Don't Call" on my answering machine for years. I have the album on vinyl, but no way to get it to MP3. Thanks again. Now my husband can hear what I've been raving about all these years.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for the feeback. hope your hubby enjoys this great band!

Anonymous said...

Oh! So excited! I wore out the cassettes of both albums & could never find them on CD. Before google, I could never figure out who they even were. It's amazing & great to have this old mystery cleared up. I don't know why I even owned them to begin with. Wow, it's great to hear that music again. Thank you!!!!!

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for the feedback and gratitude...The feedback on this post is off the charts!

bethe12c said...

I helped with public radio promotion of their tour, apparently the last one, in S.E. Alaska in 1987. Still have the t-shirt, what a wonderful time that was.


Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for sharing that Robert

working musician said...

These records are the artists and Rounder Records copyrighted intelectual property. Why do you feel it is ok to distribute it freely like this? These artist are still alive and working. They are hard working small time musicians - not rich and famous. Please tell me how is this different from, say, people walking in to your store and thinking its ok to help themselves (and anyone they can find) to your merchandise which you don't currently have out for sale simply because it's not readily available? Shame on you for stealing from the musicians who's music, efforts and investment you enjoy so much.

Camarillo Brillo said...

working musician, I understand what you are saying. But...1st off, these are crappy bitrates and are posted here to get the music out there and not for stealing. If you could purchase this music from Rounder this post would be deleted. If they are not available for sale, what is the harm in sharing so that others canb be made aware of this great band?

Anonymous said...

Denise was a friend of mine and happened to be my neighbor for a number of years.

I have been out-of-state for a good while. Tonight I came online looking to see where she might be playing so we could get together. I just found out she passed away. This news breaks my heart.

I would like to share the following notes for those who loved her and her beautiful music. She was a super-talented lady and should not be forgotten.

I met Denise many years ago when she played at a small restaurant I managed at Kent Narrows, on the eastern shore of Maryland. She and the band, Cowboy Jazz, played there in their early days. I was always os excited to hear they were coming to town.

The band really helped me out by charging me only a small amount of cash. In turn, I provided them with all the drinks they could consume and all the fresh seafood they could eat, right off the boats. (This, of course, was in the days before they had a manager.)

The locals all loved them and they would always pack the place full when they came to town. You couldn't be there listening to them and not have a good time. And dance, oh my. The building literally rocked all night long as they lit up the night.

I was lucky enough over the years to get to see Denise play at local county fairs, either solo or with bluegrass bands. She always got a standing ovation. She was absolutely brilliant and so creative.

I was fortunate enough to see her playing years later when she started up Denise and Denephews (Avalon Theater- Easton, MD). She was versatile in the music world, and as a person she was kind hearted and compassionate.

Denise could light up any room just with her smile and laughter. She will be missed by many fans and friends, especially this one.

May she rock the heavens and bring our loved ones who have passed the same joy she brought while on this earth.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for the fine memories you have shared with us today!

kimert said...

Wow - good to see all these folks who enjoy - and know about Cowboy Jazz and the foresight of this great band. Way too far ahead of their time! Sorry also to hear of the passing of some of them. Super, super band! Working musician - I can guarantee that anybody who downloads this music will end up buying the albums as well. I just picked up Swing Boogie on eBay - no artist residuals there - :( - and am currently looking for the 1st album. Probably won't get a dime there either I suspect. Someone needs to talk them into a reunion!

Camarillo Brillo said...

This is probably the post with the most feedback kimert...thanks for residuals I'm sure. Some type of reunion would be awesome!...thanks again!

Christine Cody said...

I have loved CJ since the first second I heard them play. In the early 80s, I worked in radio in North Dakota, so I kept strange hours similar to musicians. Thus, I could stay up late with them after shows and was free to go on adventures during the day. Tony became a particularly good friend, but Barry, Deanna, and Denise were all part of the group I remember most fondly. To read that Tony and Denise are both gone simply breaks my heart. It's wonderful to see, though, how many people still love their music. Kate Bennett put together an amazing group of musicians who created--and continues to create--magic for thousands of people. Thanks also for this wonderful website and for a chance to connect and, sadly, to share belated grief with others for Tony and Denise.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Christine, I had no idea when I posted this that so many folks would share their thoughts and experiences with this awesome band. Thanks for your interesting feedback.

This by far is the most commented on post.

Thanks to all of you out there. I learned so much...

rileyfreyman said...

I got turned onto Cowboy Jazz when one of the members brought us a cassett of their music up to our radio station at KTEQ FM in Rapid City, SD. I was blown away by what I heard. Dave Barnett and I were invited to come listen to them play at Dan's Back Porch in Spearfish, SD. We went and had a blast. We became friends with the band and hung out with them upstairs. Denise was an amazing fiddle player. Kate had one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. I still long to hear her voice sing "After Midnight" again. I think we need to start a facebook site called: Cowboy Jazz fans so we can all connect and push for a reunion:) My husband, Bob started a Naked Blue fans facebook page, and its really taking off. The fans love the connection and some say its about time! Check out Deanna Bogarts facebook page. She is the most amazing sax player and piano player around. And to see her live is truly an experience of a life time! She is so personable with her audience, even playing piano with her shoes and her rear end at times! She knows how to make it fun for sure! She has made it to the big leagues and I am so honored to have her as a friend. Much love, Deanna & Kate and the rest of Cowboy Jazz!

Camarillo Brillo said...

Awesome story and feedback!
Yes Deanna Bogart is awesome live too...thanks again for checking in...

Anonymous said...

I was cruising the other day and found myself singing "too much fun" and realized that I had lost my Cowboy Jazz tracks somewhere in the process of converting 1000 albums to digital... Looked everywhere in my house, but found it on rapidshare... Thank you for posting... I love their sound.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Glad you found check out the other stuff here! (-;

Kate said...

Hi. This is Kate, from the band. Thanks for posting this has warmed my heart to read it. Cowboy Jazz was a special moment in time. There were so many great nights of making music, and we met, and became friends with, so many wonderful people across the country... Today was Denise's birthday, and I was thinking about her... I often think of her, and Tony, too (his birthday was in Dec.) Thank you, and thank you to the wonderful fans who were there when it all happened. Peace.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Hi Kate,
So good to hear from you! Happy Birthday to Denise! This post is far and away the most commented on page ever on this blog. It is testament to the fine music you and your fellow band members created! I love these records and as I mentioned earlier, my deep regret not seeing the band live.
Thanks again for taking the time to write. Hope you find some vintage stuff on here worth checking out and we get to hear from you again...take care, bless you and peace to you as well!

Anonymous said...

Kate - just this very day, I was rummaging in a record box and I found my copy of that's what we like about the west (autographed, no less!) and then I found this blog. We (The Roughriders) opened for you at Sam's Place in Ft. Collins back in '80 (I think). Now I play with the Omnibuds and we call our americana/roots music "Organic Blue Cowboy Jazz". No kidding! Would love to connect with you - if you like, ping me on our Facebook page or

Bill Herr

oakley said...

I saw Cowboy Jazz at the Artscape festival in Baltimore and at Four Corners in Jacksonville, Maryland. I wore out a cassette tape I made from an LP I borrowed long ago. I found both LPs on eBay and made a digital master of the first one just so I could make a CD to share with a few friends. Now I have it on my iPod. This music brings back memories of that whole time - That bittersweet longing for the unlimited potential of youth, now long gone. It slipped from my grasp one quiet night while I slowly drank away my 29th birthday at the Monkton Inn.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Profound Oakley...Enjoy and thanks for the feedback...I feel ya!

Beetle said...

Thank you so much for this site! In the '80s, I used to play Cowboy Jazz all the time on my radio show in Duluth, MN. I've looked for this music since then - all I had was a cassette of one of my shows where I'd played 2 of their songs...and it was pretty worn by the time I ripped it. What a joy to hear this great stuff again!

Camarillo Brillo said...

My pleasure Beetle...I think it's time for a re-release on say Rounder Records maybe...

Ed Stalling said...

Fantastic to stumble on this and se how many others have such great memories of Cowboy Jazz. We were big fans - nights at Mishewaka near Ft Collins, and also the Stikine Inn in Wrangell, Alaska. Would love to purchase the albums but not sure where to fine them.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Good luck with that Ed...Try eBay...

Arden said...

I was a bartender at No Fish Today throughout the 70's and remember the nights when Cowboy Jazz played like it was yesterday. CJ new exactly what it took to rock those ancient brick walls and they delivered time and time again. Thanks for the memories!

Arden Lowndes, Batimore native and Augusta Ga resident.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for the great feedback Arden!

ronald33 said...

It's October 2011 and I now see "Links not found".

Please repost this FAIR USE rip
of the 2 COWBOY JAZZ albums.

I checked and they are NOT currently available. I have a cassette tape but that's a copy.

Never knew about 2nd album either!

ronald33 said...

Just found your site. It's now October 2011 and I see "Links not found". Please repost both albums.

This is Fair Use. NOT AVAILABLE in
Digital Format anywhere!!

ronald33 said...

Swing Boogie has some of the jazziest steel guitar music ever done!

Hard to find that kind of music.

Camarillo Brillo said...

impossible almost even...

Camarillo Brillo said...

New Link:

Camarillo Brillo said...

let me know how it goes ronald

Jumpingjacques said...

Thanks CB I just found your page and downloaded. I've had TWWLATW since 1985 and it was one of the first vinyl's I digitalized when it became possible. I didn't know Swing Boogie existed so thanks a million for that! I'm looking forward to putting it on in the car right now - Jumpingjacques , Melbourne Australia.

Anonymous said...

I have both albums and am recording first album right now. Heard them in Tucson some 30 years ago. My son age six destroyed my turntable many years ago and finally got around to replacing it.
The first album I am recording to computer and Ipod (at great cost) is "That's what we like about the West".
So So Glad I kept these albums. There is no CD that can compare with the vinyl and every song is a gem. Not like 99% of the CDs today where you are lucky to get one or two good ones.
Sorry to hear about D Carlson but this music WILL live on forever!
Frank Stagg from Tucson AZ

Anonymous said...

wow...i guess im really too late to discover this this band and their music but sadly its hard to find their music now. Have a cassette tape copy of their songs wayback in the 80`s.Dont even know much about them.Copy just came from a friend who also got it from someone but as a musician their music right away got stuck in my head.Wish i had discover this site early,so i had the chance to have their music again.I learned a lot of info about this band here.Hope someday can see and hear more of their songs uploaded on youtube.They have 2-3 songs there.Wish someone will upload their full album songs.Thanks a lot

Camarillo Brillo said...

Since this post is special and my number one commented's a new link:

Anonymous said...

thank u so much for the new link...words cant express how grateful i the one who wrote about being too late to discover your site..Now,thats not all true.Now, im enjoying listenning to CowboyJazz again after 30 years..thanks a lot again...GOD BLESS u always...listenning to those long lost music is like hearing and seeing from a long lost friend...thank u so much...

Camarillo Brillo said...

Glad I could make your day a little sweeter...

What This Is All About

I've been collecting live music from various sources since the mid to late 70's. Radio shows, TV broadcasts, radio show pre-FM CD's and vinyl LP's and some trades. Most of the shows posted here, I recorded and ripped myself. I always had top of the line stereo equipment and cassette and open reel recorders for those on air broadcasts.

I've downloaded plenty of bootlegged concerts from various blogs. As a rule I will only post stuff from my collection and not what is already available out there.

I also post out of print CDs and LPs from my collection.
I will repost from my readers anything someone sends me as long as it is either out of print or something that's not from someone else's blog. If you want to share a link for a cool item on your blog, or someone else's, please feel free to post it in the comments........

Enjoy and please leave a comment and pass this blog along.

Can you believe that so many out there are starving for the old WHFS? Amazing!

If you leave a comment, how about using a nickname instead of Anonymous. At least make up something please. Thanks!

I have reconsidered my position...and will re-upload dead links, so long as you go to that particular post and make the request from the comments page...

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