November 7, 2009 10:25:00 PM
"People have always been good to us, and we''d kinda like to put on a little party for our friends and fans," says Swing Shift front man and founder Johnny Coleman. "They''ve been with us a long time."
The celebration he refers to is a public CD release by the venerable band Friday, Nov. 13, at the Rosenzweig Arts Center at 501 Main St. in downtown Columbus. After nearly 25 years of performing their signature brand of good-time ''50s, ''60s and ''70s rock ''n roll, soul and rhythm and blues throughout the region, Swing Shift is finally releasing its debut recording. But with a twist. "Mississippi Back 40 Rockin''" is all original tunes.
Composed of 12 bluesy, country and pop-flavored tracks, the album on MAC Records boasts eight songs composed by singer and keyboardist Coleman, two by lead, slide and rhythm guitar player Robin Roberts and two by drummer Wes Fields. Bruce "Bird" Crain on bass and Ben Ferrell on lead and rhythm guitar complete the tight-knit line-up that has provided infectious entertainment at hundreds of festivals and public and private events.
"Recording this CD has been a blast," says Coleman, who is retired from the Columbus Municipal School District. Several tracks, including the single "Hold It There, Bartender," can be heard at www.myspace.com/swingshiftgoodtimerocknroll.
The release party from 7-10 p.m. is open to the public. There is no admission charge for the evening of new and old tunes, dancing, beverages and light food (as long as it lasts), but everyone attending is asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to Helping Hands food pantry.
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.