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Becky and the Cowhands

“Rebecca is simply one of the best interpreters of The Great American Songbook. She has a gorgeous voice and a deep connection with every song she touches. In a world of pretenders, she’s absolutely the real thing. I love what she does!” Michael Feinstein

Becky & the Cowhands serve up Western Swing music in the style of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys from the 1940s, with an infectious beat, harmonized vocals, and thrilling soloists. The group specializes in playing for swing dancers, which will be crowding the dance floor when the Cowhands hit the Front Porch Stage. The group features:

Becky Kilgore (guitar/vocals)

Though mostly known for her jazz vocals, Becky is no stranger to Western swing, having played in Steve Reischman’s Western big-band, Ranch Dressing; fiddle player Hollis Taylor’s trio; the Beckaroos; and the duo with James Mason, Cactus Setup.

Is it possible to love the stylings of Billie Holiday and Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson, Kitty Wells, Patsy Montana, Skeeter Davis, Bobbie Gentry,
Connie Smith, Cindy Walker? The answer is a resounding Yes!

James Mason (fiddle)

“James is one of the most natural and musical of Jazz fiddle player”s Matt Glaser – Director of Berklee College of Music

At age 11 James entered his first fiddle contest and at age 13 began learning Texas style fiddling from the legendary Benny Thomasson while keeping within earshot of swing and jazz… always inspired by Bob Wills, Stephane Grappelli, and Joe Venuti. Throughout his career James has played and recorded bluegrass, country, swing and jazz and over the years has taught at a number of camps and workshops including the Ashokan Fiddle and Dance camp in New York.

James currently resides in the Portland area and is active in two Gypsy jazz bands, Swing Papillon and Everything’s Jake. Both of which feature the music of Django Reinhardt. For 30 years James has been repairing, restoring, and making violin bows at the David Kerr Violin Shop in Portland.

Doc Stein (Hawaiian steel guitar, vocals)

Jon ‘Doc’ Stein grew up on the east coast playing country and Western swing, ragtime and blues on guitar, banjo and dobro. In 1985 he moved to the Portland area where he played in various bands including Retta and the Smart Fellas, Cactus Set-Up with Rebecca Kilgore, and Fritz Richmond’s Barbeque Orchestra. He has also toured with various bands while sailing the southern Caribbean . However his most unusual gig was in the Voice of Asia Festival in Kazakhstan, representing the USA in a swing trio. He has played with Jim Kweskin, Geoff and Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, David Grisman and Dan Hicks in San Francisco.

Pete Lampe (upright bass)

Pete Lampe has been a bassist on the Portland scene since 1986. He has been a teacher of Band and Orchestra, as well as a musician performing classical music with the Columbia Symphony, and jazz with Portland luminaries Ron Steen, Mel Brown, Rebecca Kilgore, Tom Grant and others. Pete was also a member of the Art Abrams Swing Machine Big Band for five years, has performed with the Pete Krebs Trio, and is currently playing with the amazing gypsy jazz group Swing Papillon. He is the owner of Pete’s Bass Shop, specializing in the repair, restoration and sales of double basses, which affords him the opportunity to combine his love of music, “old basses” and fine woodworking.