WVBR's Bound for Glory: The Skiffle Minstrels

Anabel Taylor Hall, Cafe Anabel Taylor Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Energy, lots of it. They're on the country side of folk, they're a dance band, they are just a lot of fun, with many instruments to share and a whole lot of new and not so new songs. Buffalo's finest. Make sure you catch them. skiffleminstrels.com

            “The Skiffle Minstrels play classic songs of classic songwriters, country blues, swing and honky-tonk, and originals which merit being played in in the same sets as Hank Williams. It’s listening music, it’s dancing music played with energy and joy. I’ve also had the privilege of hosting them live on my radio show twice. They are great in the small radio studio, but the dance hall is their domain.”—Scott Regan (WRUR Radio, Rochester, NY)

“Dancers love the Skiffle Minstrels! They play music that’s just perfect for all kinds of dancing—country two-step, swing, waltz, blues—in one fun-filled, high-energy package!”—Esther Brill and RJ Ruble (Partner-Dance Teachers)

“A couple of us went to catch a show by the Skiffle Minstrels. The plan was to see some good music and talk about planning an event. Well, nothing got planned because we could not divert our attention from the band long enough. If you are ever looking for something fun to do [. . .] these guys are it.”—Buffalo Rising

“The Skiffle Minstrels are a hard-working and crowd-pleasing bunch.”—Buffalo News Gusto

Posted on November 25th, 2010

Thanks to everyone who voted for us (and to Mighty Taco for sponsoring the award). You helped us win the “Best New Original Band” category in the Buffalo Music Awards! While the band is far from “new,” it’s nice to be appreciated for our original tunes–which are mostly recent additions to the roster.


 

Skiffle Minstrels pour heart, soul into music

The distance from Buffalo to Nashville is roughly 630 miles. Musically, however, a million miles lies between what the Skiffle Minstrels play and what passes for country music today.

"We're interested in making people dance. So it's really a swing band. That's what it's turned into," Todaro says. "We're really focused on the dancing. We're trying to create that at the event rather than play a 'concert' type of thing. What we really like to do is play for four hours nonstop and get people dancing."

The Skiffle Minstrels perform half originals and half covers of artists such as Texas swing king Bob Wills, country icon Hank Williams, Hank Snow and more.

Peppy originals like the twangy "All Night Diner" and the swingin' "No Destination" pay tribute to the masters.

"When we write, we model it after Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson -- all the Hanks," Todaro says.

Thing is, the Skiffle Minstrels infuse this old-time music with so much exuberance and heart their joy radiates from the stage.

 

The waltz and two-step get a hillbilly makeover from Buffalo’s original honky-tonkers, as the Skiffle Minstrels celebrate the release of their second album, All God’s Children Gotta Dance, this Saturday (Sept 10) at the Sportsmens Tavern.

Known for their back roads homage to Americana music, the Skiffle Minstrels bring an infectious blend of honky-tonk, country, swing and blues that is capable of getting any audience up and moving... The band has a cache of old-time instruments at their disposal, and whether it’s the accordion, fiddle, Hawaiian steel guitar, or harmonica, each musician plays their heart out, and has a hell of a time doing it.

The group teamed up with Buffalo native and Grammy-nominated producer Dwane Hall for their latest album, which boasts more dance-worthy tracks than ever before, along with previously unreleased favorites.

The five-time Artvoice “Best of Buffalo” winners have gained radio play across the country, and rightfully so, because it’s the kind of spirited, homespun music that deserves to be showcased.  

 

Country and western swing group The Skiffle Minstrels is the featured act at the Jackson Square Concert Series. The show is 7 to 9 p.m. in the square, between Jackson and Center streets in downtown Batavia.

Todaro and his group prefer to play music similar in style to the late Hank Williams and Bob Wills, who performed in the 1930s and ’40s. Wills, called the father of western swing, is known for classic tunes such as “Miles and Miles of Texas” and “Rose of San Antone.”

The Skiffle Minstrels have released two CDs, “Homespun” and its most recent record, “All God’s Children Gotta Dance.” They are available online at the band’s website, iTunes and amazon.com.

The Skiffle Minstrels are based in Buffalo and perform the first Friday of each month, during happy hour, at the Sportsmen’s Inn on Amherst Street.

The band occasionally plays in Rochester and Ithaca. It’s on stage from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at Old Home Days, Island Park, in Williamsville and has a July 19 gig at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in the Catskills.

The Skiffle Minstrels have won numerous local honors, including Best New Original Band at the 2010 Buffalo Music Awards and Best Country Act in 2012 from “Artvoice” magazine.