After making a name for himself in the Oklahoma music scene as a solo act, Kyle Reid returns to the stage with a toe-tappin’, finger-snappin’ brass band. They have crowned themselves the Low Swingin’ Chariots, and it has become a project that Reid can’t believe took him so long to get to.
“I saw a band down in Austin that really impressed me, and they were doing this kind of music, old swing stuff and New Orleans-centric stuff, gypsy jazz,” Reid said. “I’d been a fan of it for a while, but it was only after seeing that band that I decided that this was the kind of music that I really enjoyed for a long time and wanted to make a project out of it, putting a group of musicians together.”
Over the past year, Reid and the boys have played numerous festivals, weddings and parties while essentially living in the studio, prepping their newest album, recorded directly to tape with an analog signal path running through it to preserve that classic soul sound.
Kicking off 2014 with a performance at the Santa Fe Depot in Norman for their Jazz at the Depot series, Reid has been moving so fast he hasn’t had the time to properly reflect on the differences between performing solo and with a band. But when asked, he said the energy of playing with a band is “unmatched.”
“Playing with a band is so much fun because it’s all about communicating,” he said. “My favorite moment playing with a band is whenever there’s an idea clearly stated and then understood by everybody. It’s so fun to pick up on that when the guys in your band do that. I love playing solo too, just for the space that it can provide you.”
Reid believes the reason for both his newfound love of jamming with the band — as well as the intense local reaction to them — is because brass and rhythm sections are “infectious” and make people want to get up out of their chairs.
“There’s a lot in the rhythm that gets people excited,” he said. “There’s something in the blood that gets going a little faster. This type of music lends itself to having fun. At the same time, it just feels so good. I can’t hear this kind of music and not be uplifted a little bit.”
It’s a feeling that Reid is honored to be able to pass on to music fans who come out to see the band play the Depot.
“I’ve seen so many of the concerts at the train depot. It means a lot to get to play there,” he said. “We’re gonna do tunes, originals and standards, in the New Orleans jazz, traditional jazz and swing fashion. I might even get out the cigar box guitar for a tune or so in the middle of the show. We’ll see what happens.”