Bonham -- The Fourth of July weekend is the perfect time to appreciate that most American genre of music, jazz, and the audience at The Woodmoore Assisted Living Community enjoyed a spirited concert Saturday by local favorites, Bois d'Arc Dixieland Band.
There were smiles on faces and toes were tapping out the beat as this polished Dixieland combo played all the classics: "Margie," "Ain't She Sweet," "Saint Louis Blues," "Georgia On My Mind," "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey," "Who's Sorry Now," "Hello Dolly," "Bye, Bye, Blackbird," "Back Home Again in Indiana" and the show closer, "When the Saints Go Marching In."
Bois d'Arc Dixieland Band formed soon after Russell Armstrong was intrigued by the performance of a Dixieland band at Disney World in 1996. This form of music calls for a "front line" of strong soloists on clarinet, trumpet and trombone and Bois d'Arc Dixieland Band certainly has that covered with Jim Deaton, Kelly Fletcher and Dick Eckstein.
Russell Armstrong, originally a drummer, provides rhythm on tenor banjo and is one of four vocalists in the group. Joe Knight is the pianist and Ben Scarborough plays bass.
Like any good team, this group goes at least two deep at every position. On this particular occasion, Texas State Senator Bob Deuell had a prior engagement, so Jack Allday filled in perfectly on drums.
"Dixieland jazz is all about improvisation," said Mr. Armstrong, "so I'm going to ask our pianist to put something together on the spot."
Mr. Knight first asked how many in the audience had been raised in church and hands shot up all across the room. He then asked for three favorite church songs. The audience quickly responded and Knight earned a standing ovation with a medly of "Old Rugged Cross," "Amazing Grace" and How Great Thou Art."
The band wrapped up the performance by circling through the audience as they played "When the Saints Go Marching In."
If you would like to learn more about Bois d'Arc Dixieland Band, please visit www.theDixielandBand.com.