08 January 2009

Waltzing with the KGB

KGB is a trio from Seattle that plays music for contra dances, English country dances, and couple dances. If you're in the SF bay area, you should come and hear them live this Saturday, the 10th. They'll be playing at the Oakland Friday Night Waltz (yes, on Saturday) and doing a mix of contra dances and couple dances. It'll be great.

Most of their albums have a lot of contra dance music on them (which is great), but they also just recently released a new CD with a solid hour of original waltz music: The Red Light of Evening. It's a lovely album, with a nice range of tempos for different types of waltzes. Richard Powers played a couple of them at FNW in December, though I don't recall which ones. These are some of my favorites after my first listen:

  • Speak of the Deverills - Rotary waltz, 162 bpm
    I like the way this one slides between different moods.
  • A Field of Shooting Stars - Cross-step waltz, 126 bpm
    Might be good to slow this one down a tad, though I haven't tried actually dancing it yet.
  • Birdsong Spring - Rotary waltz / Redowa, 165 bpm
    This one really does spring along in a very birdlike way in places. It would probably be fun to redowa to.
  • The Clock Stopped - Cross-step waltz, 112 bpm
    This one is actually on their "Contra-Intelligence" album, but it's worth including here as long as we're talking about KGB waltzes. If you go to FNW around here, this is the tune that's always played for the cross-step mixer.
Update: The dance on Saturday was fantastic. If you ever get a chance to dance to KGB, take it.