Swing band backing up ‘Queen of Rockabilly’ at festival

In little more than a week the streets of Tucumcari will be alive with music, Route 66 enthusiasts and classic cars for the 2013 Rockabilly on the Route.

The event is sponsored by Tucumcari Convention Center will be the site for the three-day music festival's kick off June 7.

The festival is being held to help raise money and awareness for the planned New Mexico Route 66 Museum at the Tucumcari Convention Center. The museum will hold a preview opening that weekend.

One of the headliners for the event is the Queen of Rockabilly herself Wanda Jackson.

Simon Cantlon, event coordinator, said a Phoenix, Ariz.-based rockabilly and swing band called Whiskey Kiss will be performing as Jackson's back-up band. They will also play June 7 on their own at the Lizard Lounge in the PowWow Restaurant and Lounge. They will share the bill with Danger Cakes, an all-girl rockabilly band, and the Gilded Cage Burlesk and Variete, a burlesque revival troupe.

Nick White, Whiskey Kiss's leader and upright bass player, said the band is excited to be backing Jackson, who is listed on the Whiskey Kiss website www.whiskeykiss.org, as one of the band's key influences. The band is currently working hard, White said, to learn both Jackson's set and their own.

The band consists of five regular musicians, but White said an unnamed keyboard player will join the band in Tucumcari. Besides White, the band's regular musicians include his wife Niki, who is their usual singer; Joel Dark, guitar; Jayson Kay, drums, and Bruce Legge, trumpet and saxophone.

The weekend will be full of rockabilly bands, variety shows, parades, and classic cars.

General Admission proceeds will benefit the New Mexico Route 66 Museum. Tickets are available at the Rockabilly on the Route website, www.rocabillyontheroute.com.

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