Named after the neighborhood that I had been living in since I got to Austin in '89, the Ridgetop Syncopators were always band looking for an audience. Styled entirely in the mold of the Milton Brown and Cliff Bruner bands, we were told over and over again by promoters that we weren't "Western Swing" at least by modernist standards. In fact the rejection letters were unintentionally hilarious, noting pointedly that we didn't have a pedal steel guitar or matching vests so how could we be a Texas Swing band? Ah, yes...
We made did big splashes at the Calgary and Winnipeg Folk Festivals in 2006 and appeared as a special guest at the Kennedy Center's Duke Ellington celebration, but couldn't catch the ear of the local hipsters or the old guard C&W folks. We had a regular Wednesday night stand opening for the then very popular WT Special, who when they eventually folded re-formed as JWW and the Prospectors, essentially cloning our lineup and material. But I doubt they've gotten any further than we did!
I still work with nearly everyone of the old Syncopators to this day, and fiddler Sean Orr and I just released a new CD as did steel man George Carver which is worth checking out.
But do me a favor and checkout the little EP we made. I think its still pretty cool.