top of page
The Best Westerns 2.jpg

The Best Westerns

  • Facebook

About the Band:

The Best Westerns meld instrumental expertise and the powerful charm of classic songs old and new, from way out West to Tin Pan Alley. Some call it swing, some call it jazz, some might think it’s rockabilly, and some even call it western music. And that’s how you know it’s Western Swing.


The six-piece ensemble features fiddle, piano, guitar, steel guitar, acoustic bass, and drums with a repertoire ranging from Bob Wills to Benny Goodman, with stops along the way for Slim Gaillard, Speedy West, Count Basie, and Carl Smith... or Carl Perkins... or Ray Price.


Most of all, it’s dance music. Once people are dancing, the Best Westerns are in business.


Featuring Eddie Rivers

A tower of power on steel guitar — straight steel, no pedals — Eddie Rivers has established himself among the premier players of the instrument. As a 15-year veteran of the Grammy-winning group Asleep at the Wheel, Eddie’s career has taken him to the Grand Ole Opry, David Letterman, Austin City Limits and, in 2015, to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. His solo album, “Plain Talkin’ Man,” remains a benchmark in the world of western swing.

The Best Westerns.jpg

Award-winning band

• Drummer Andy Pagel has powered several Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) award-winning bands, including the Western Box Turtles and Liam Ford.

• Guitarist Tim Ferguson’s guitar prowess is long-known to Wisconsin country music fans since bands like Radio Flyer, Ida Red, and Twang.

• Mark Roeder’s powerful vocals and energetic fiddling make him an audience favorite.

• Pianist Anna Brinck pounds out Tin Pan Alley, blues, and swing rhythms and melodies with a verve that prompts applause with every break.


Band leader and bassist Mark Hembree recorded and toured with Bill Monroe, the Nashville Bluegrass Band (“O Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack), the Dreadful Snakes (produced by Béla Fleck and Jerry Douglas) and can be heard in recordings with David Grisman, Tony Trischka, Roy Bookbinder, Randy Travis, and Neil Young, among many others. Grammy-nominated albums include the Nashville Bluegrass Band’s “To Be His Child” and Peter Rowan’s “Blue Moon Rising.”


In 2022, University of Illinois Press published Hembree’s memoir On the Bus with Bill Monroe, for which he was nominated Writer of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

bottom of page