Coastal Bend College Cultural and Educational Programs Committee hosts a free performance of The Gimbles, three generations of musicians, on Friday, Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m. in the Gertrude R. Jones Fine Arts Auditorium in Beeville.
The Gimbles play a Texas-style symphony of swing and country music. Emily, Dick and Johnny Gimble, with David Levin, are each powerhouse musicians in their own right but together they resonate the very roots of Western swing. The Gimbles’ program is a mix of Texas (western) swing, their versions of standards from the 1930s and 1940s, a little bit of Texas country, and a healthy dose of humor.
Emily Gimble, born into two generations of swinging musicians, came out swinging. She has progressed from her first fiddle and guitar to vocals and piano. Growing up surrounded by professional musicians like Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, Randy Elmore’s Swing Showcase and her grandfather, Johnny Gimble, it is no surprise that Emily pursued a musical career. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Music – Vocal Performance from McLennan Community College in Waco. She completed work on her first CD – “A Case of The Gimbles” in 2005, featuring all three generations of Gimble musicians and an all-star cast of Austin’s finest musicians. She is currently performing with The Marshall For Swing Band and Warren Hood and the Hoodlums.
Emily’s dad, Dick, grew up with the swing beat and the sweet sound of fiddle in his blood. He was born while his dad, Johnny, was on the road with Bob Wills. Johnny began teaching Dick to play bass and guitar in junior high and later hired him into the band. They have played a thousand gigs since then.
Dick studied jazz at the University of Texas and did a stint as a session man in Nashville. His performing and recording career has included work with such musical luminaries as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Floyd Tillman and Walt Wilkins. He has performed on Austin City Limits, backing Tom T. Hall, Merle Travis, Charlie Pride, Chet Atkins and Garrison Keillor, and performed with Carrie Underwood during the Grammy Awards.
Dick is a 25-year faculty member in the Commercial Music Program at McLennan Community College in Waco. He and Marilynn, his wife of 40 years, have three children: Jon Richard, Jeni Re’ and Emily Ann Gimble.
Johnny Gimble, National Heritage Awardee and 2005 Texas State Musician, grew up in rural East Texas. He and his four musical brothers performed on the radio in the 1930s. He is perhaps best known for his successful stint with “Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.” A big part of the Johnny’s legend grows from the fact that he is consummate sideman, session artist and band leader.
The Grammy award-winning artist was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” four times by the Country Music Association and three-time “Fiddler of the Year” by The Academy of Country Music eight times.
Fiddler Danny Levin is also a Grammy award-winning artist. He got his start as a classical cellist but when he heard Texas swing and recorded with Johnny Gimble, he put the cello away. Danny was Asleep at the Wheel’s first fiddler, toured and recorded with the “Wheel” for most of the 1970s and earned two Grammys with the band.
Danny is an accomplished jazz guy now. He released a CD of standards and originals called Nutbars in 2008. He recently returned to the cello for some new music bands in Austin. His day job is running an ad music studio in Austin called Tequila Mockingbird.
The Gimbles’ performance is free and open to the public. It is one of the many concerts offered at no cost to the community throughout the year by the college. For more information on upcoming events at Coastal Bend College, contact James Lee at (361) 354-2303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.