Fool's Night Out
Fools Night Out comes from a song by Phil Wiggins | Moon photo courtesy Michael's Photo Gallery.

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Swing Silliness in Sterling
© Scott Mitchell (99/1/20)

Basin Street ( is a bistro type restraunt/bar with a New Orleans theme. It is located near my home in Sterling VA. It is a bit expensive, but usually there is no cover. And, for you dancers, they have a gorgeous wood floor.

They regularly schedule local bands from Mary Ann Redmond to the Blues Messengers. And you might recall a review I did of the Nighthawks benefit there a month ago or so.

Well, as of last night, they're trying to cash in on the whole swing scene. They had a couple of instructors from everyone's favorite studio...Arthur Murray. Though I missed most of the lesson, but they seemed to get people started ok. They taught East Coast Swing and Foxtrot. All without the aid of those little feet cutouts.

There was a band, the Richard Bray Orchestra. They were good, but hardly my style. Think a smaller version of Tom Cunningham's band that is even more low key.

Ah, but, here's where the silliness begins. Apparently the restraunt next door has a similar swing lesson deal going on the same night. I'm not sure of the restraunt's name; it has changed several times in the couple of years I've lived here. So, The folks teaching at XYZ Pub came over to show off their lindy moves for one song and try and steal some business. I think they were spectacularly unsuccessful.

They were talking about alternating bands, but the name that was floated was Cunningham's. Since when does Swing equate with Big Band? The Bray Orchestra played for the lesson and two songs afterwards before taking a break. And then only went to 10:30. It was rather unfulfilling. They played Cherry Poppin' Daddies & Big Bad Voodoo Daddy between sets and afterward. But it emptied out pretty quick after the band was done.

Call it a mixed review. Its nice to have something so nearby. But I really need a more rockin' band and more music.

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