By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
This communal band takes funk to its logical extremes, with a horn section, percussion, and the commanding, voluptuous presence of lead singer Tiffany Sullivan. Committed to the groove for its own sake, this group wastes no time with social commentary, unless it's "free your ass, and the mind will follow."
5. YOKO LOVE
This Mesa trio cranks out bratty, snot-nosed funk of the hard-edged variety. Behind the self-consciously juvenile attitude, their musicianship is impressively mature, as evidenced by their 1997 Epiphany CD Who's Your Daddy?.
1. EXIT 56
This group began as a pure rockabilly combo and has subtly shifted its approach to win over the swing camp. Their exuberant showmanship and swinging, Carl Perkins-influenced tunes offer proof that rockabilly is ultimately swing music with a pompadour.
2. HEAVENLY 7
A vintage, horn-driven combo that's become a fixture at Bash on Ash, this group, led by vocalist Jody Byrd, has become one of the most popular local acts with the lindy-hopping fedora crowd. Their resume includes three songs on last year's Swingin' Christmas compilation CD, distributed by BMG.
3. SWING 42
Because the swing movement has a much greater display of avid dancers than viable live bands, swing mecca Bash on Ash found itself frequently short of bands. Into the breach stepped Swing 42, a band formed by Martin Pendergrast, a power-pop vet who is currently a manager at Bash on Ash, exclusively for the purpose of filling in the gaps on nights when no other swing band was available. Along the way, the group has quite inadvertently developed a sizable following among rock-stepping club regulars.