A Jay Wade and the Tennessee No 09

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A Jay Wade and the Tennessee No 09




Can you  describe to me  who AJ Wade and the Tennessee No 9 are ?

No problem, happy to!
In a nutshell, A Jay Wade and the Tennessee No. 09 are myself, and my Western swing orchestra.
I started the band with my steel player Anna M 3 years ago, as a honkytonk band, but after a truly inspiring Western swing jam session in Nashville about 2 years ago, I had a bit of an epiphany and knew what I had to do!
There weren’t any 30’s style, Western swing dance bands here in London, but I knew that the swing/ swingdance scene here would welcome something a bit different.

Particularly after playing at a fun club called Shag Pile, we saw how 30’s Western swing and collegiate shag are a marriage made in heaven – take a look at our videos for Right or Wrong and Good Old Fashioned Hoedown!

I put together a core band of London Jazz guys; Nick D Ball who plays in the Alex Mendham orchestra and is the only early jazz drum specialist I’ve seen, Harry Evans on bass and trumpet (but not both at once even though I keep asking!) Alex Barrow on accordion, Sabrina on autoharp, Darius Thompson on fiddle and further players I can call on when needed for bigger lineups – London’s go to jazz fiddler Piotr Jordan who has become something of a regular while Darius is the Fiddler on the Roof for a West End theatre production, Barbara Bartz also on fiddle, and both of them when we want twin fiddles!

Lastly London’s finest ragtime and jazz pianist Joplin Parnell, then after a bit of time rehearsing and getting everyone tuned into the Texas sound started playing in London to a great response.



What would you call your genre style of music, do you have any musical inspirations that got you here.

Western swing really is a collection of styles that was brought together by the Texas and Oklahoma dance hall bands in the 1930’s.
They would play swing of course, and mix it with polka, square dance, folk/country and pop hits of the day. Anything folks would hear on the radio and want to dance to.

I’ve also heard it called Texas Swing or Texas Jazz and we have some Hollywood singing cowboy in there too.

The inspiration comes from the same mix of swing jazz and string band music as played by Adolph Hofner, Jimmy Revard, Milton Brown, Shelly Lee Alley, The Sons of the Pioneers, The Light Crust Doughboys, Cliff Bruner, The Modern Mountaineers, Tex Williams, Pee Wee King, Jimmy Wakely, The Boswell Sisters, Jimmy Rogers, Spade Cooley and of course Bob Wills

 Swing jazz is already pretty incredible but when you add a country feeling in that unique Texas way it just really takes off,  so when I first heard it I knew this was the sound I had always been looking for.
Do you and the band write your own songs ?

Not at the moment as the main focus of the band is to bring those 30’s versions of the songs that we love to a wider audience.
Definitely not ruling it out thought as it’s something I really enjoy.


AJ Wade Western swing




.Congrats on the Nashville sessions EP, I just had a quick listen on Spotify, I love all of the tracks and especially, Right or Wrong and I will Keep my own Guitar.
Who did you work with on this recording, and how did this all come together, I can imagine it was a lot of hard work and a long time.

Thank you, yes it was a bit of a long road to put this together, and I couldn’t have done it without my “American cousin” Keenan Wade who’s front room was the location for the jam session that started it all.

Anna and I had been travelling around the USA, getting inspiration from time in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, Nevada and California, playing with some amazing musicians and thought how cool it would be to record with local players who have grown up with this music.

We wanted to do it in Nashville, as we have the connections there, who can draw on that wide music community. So having played a fair bit with Keenan (yodel/mandolin) and his partner Grace (vocal/guitar). Who share our love of Western swing and singing cowboy tunes, and introduced us to so much music and the history behind it, I asked him to help me put together a session when we were next in town.

I needed a drummer and it turned out Matty Mayer who plays in Pokey LaFarge’s band was renting a room from Keenan in his house. Talk about good fortune!
We had just seen Pokey in London and I was really impressed with the drumming and thought how cool it would be to have this guy play on something, but thought it was a bit of a dream that would never happen. Well, you never know until you ask.
Matty is a lovely guy, and agreed to play. He’s jazz cat and loves old Western swing, just listen to Pokey!

Jared Manzo from Texas who plays with Chris Scruggs amongst many others brought that laid back yet driving low end to complete the centre of the band together with myself, Keenan on electric and acoustic mandolin a la Tiny Moore, and Anna on lap steel for that authentic 30’s Texas Jazz sound – she’s studied the originals like Bob Dunn who was a pioneer of electric steel guitar in Milton Brown’s band.

We laid down the basic tracks at Mark Thornton’s studio over a couple of days in between shows and had a real blast doing it. Mark is a very accomplished yet humble guitar player and engineer/producer, who played guitar for Jerry Reed(!). Jerry recorded a lot in his studio which is well stocked with vintage mics and has a really nice acoustics/atmosphere to work in.

What would Western swing be without fiddle though?
We played a show with the unbelievably talented Billy Contreras, a born and bred Nashville musician and were absolutely floored by his playing so gave him a call. He couldn’t make the initial session but came in and overdubbed the fiddles, while we were away playing a radio show in Bristol TN at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.
He has an uncanny ability to harmonize on the fly, even with complex jazz voicing’s, and put down three part fiddle tracks for all the songs in just a couple of hours.

Armed with the masters we completed the mixes and mastering back in London in my studio. It took us the best part of a year from start to finish, but was real labour of love and totally worth it!

Next up, I’d like to record my London band, as they are also awesome and I’m really excited to get that London sound down on tape!

I see you are the house band for a cool swing night in London Town, can you tell me about this and why should be people pop in ?
And how do they find out about this fun event.

The night is called The Collar Bar, and it’s all about dancing to Swing, Western Swing, Jazz, Ragtime and more from the 1920s, 30s and 40s!
We run the club with our DJ friend Mr Blue Ruin, in a lovely Victorian pub near Waterloo station. It’s a great space with nice wooden floor for dancing.
We’re the house band and play 2 sets each night, so if you’re a dancer or just want to enjoy a pint, good company and the music do come on down!

Go to to find out more


A J WADE Western swing



You have so may  greats gigs coming up,  how can people book the band ?

Yes, looking forward to getting out there and playing more. We particularly love playing dance events.
You can go to and message me from the contact page.



Our next show is at Twinwood Vintage Festival. Looking forward to that!


AUG 25 2019 SUN – Twinwood Festival – Bedford, UK

SEP 14 2019 SAT – The Collar Bar – London, UK

OCT 12 2019 SAT – The Collar Bar – London, UK

OCT 31 2019 THU – BCN Shag Festival – Barcelona Spain

NOV 09 2019 SAT – The Collar Bar – London, UK

NOV 15 2019 FRI – Rhythm Riot – Rye, UK

DEC 14 2019 SAT – The Collar Bar – London, UK

MAR 15 2020 SUN – Frisking the Whiskers – Lowestoft, UK

JUL 30 2020 THU – War and Peace Revival – Maidstone, UK



I just checked out your website, very sharp and your merch is fantastic, your cd’s are so affordable and snazzy tshirt’s
Do you ship world wide for your fans ?

Thanks, we want to price our CDs and merch realistically
Our accordion player Alex is also an illustrator (mainly) for children’s books and he drew that illustration that’s on the tees.
Yes, happy to ship anywhere. Merchandise


AJ Wade Western swing



Check out these links for more information

Website A J Wade

Instagram A J Wade

Instagram Collar Bar swing

Facebook Collar Bar Swing



Available on iTunes, Spotify and all the rest!


A Jay Wade and the Tennessee No 09 – Good Old Fashioned Hoedown










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