Let’s Make Western Swing Great Again

Mike Penny’s Western Swing Club

Mike Penny is back with a great new dance band: Mike Penny’s Western Swing Club. These guys are falling somewhere between Bob Wills and Spade Cooley in a small cast. Though the group is located in Berlin (Germany), the band’s stated mission is to „MAKE WESTERN SWING GREAT AGAIN”. And their authentic sound and look is proof that these guys mean what they say. This ensemble would be perfectly at home at a 1950s Western Ranch Party.

The Western Swing Club on stage
The Western Swing Club on stage / Photo by Julian Hetz
Mike Penny & Ike Goodtime singing
Everybody's Swingin' and Truckin' with Ike & Mike / Photo by Julian Hetz

The group is led by the acoustic guitars and concise vocals of Mike Penny. He has been standing on countless stages since 1989 and published 3 records on Rhythm Bomb with his former Hillbilly group “Mike Penny & his Moonshiners”. Joining him are high-class musicians like Ike Goodtime (West Coast Patrol, Lightning Ranch Boys) on the steel guitar, Monty Rattlesnake (Swing Cat Club, Safe, Sane & Single) on drums, Sharon Biallek playing the double bass and Leon Bixerbecke (Dixie Deluxe, Louisiana Hot Jazz Company) on cornet (trumpet). Special Guest: Matt Itzenplitz (Craig Ventresco, Keith Dunn, Compass Big Band) on lead guitar.

The Band

Western Swing Club

Mike Penny on stage in front of a vintage Shure / Unidyne 556
Mike Penny - Vocals and Rhythm Guitar / Photo by Julian Hetz
Vocals & Rhythm Guitar

Mike Penny has been seen on countless stages around the world since 1987. Music has always been around in his family, his father loved Jazz, his mother was a music teacher and played piano. At the age of 6, Mike learned to play violin, later guitar and double bass. 1987 he played bass in his first Rockabilly band, several unknown band projects later he founded „Mike Penny and his Moonshiners“ and published 3 records with them on Rhythm Bomb.

Ike Goodtime - Vocals and Steel Guitar / Photo by Julian Hetz
Steel Guitar & Vocals

Ike Goodtime is not only a brilliant performer on the steel guitar but also a great singer and entertainer. You might have seen him in the past with his former bands „West Coast Patrol“ or „Lightning Ranch Boys“.

He started his musical career at the age of 12 and taught himself several instruments like accordion, guitar, double bass and some brass. As if that ain’t enough, Ike is a really nice and handsome guy. Band mates like him are a real treasure.

Leon Bixerbecke - Cornet & Shouts / Photo by Julian Hetz
Cornet & Shouts

As a child, Leon used to listen to his grandfather’s jazz shellacs on a gramophone. He stared his musical career at the age of 17 with an old cornet from the family fund in the bands „Jazzlight“ and “ hot potatoes“. Since 1992 he has been the cornet player of several Jazz bands like „Louisiana Hot Jazz Company“, „Louis Armstrong Memorial Hot Five“, „Bixsick“ and „DixieDeluxe“. He didn’t know there was such a thing as Western Swing before, but now he’s addicted to it.

Sharon Biallek - double bass / Photo by Julian Hetz
Double Bass

Sharon is a true natural talent and does an outstanding job on the doghouse bass. And on top of that, she makes our stage look good …

Monty Rattlesnake, drummer of the Western Swing Club in action at Berlin-Shake 2023

Monty Rattlesnake (Swing Cat Club, Safe, Sane & Single) was born in 1964 and started his drumming career in his early childhood. With more then 40 years of experience, especially in the area of Jazz & Swing music, he is a perfect match for the Western Swing Club.

Matt Itzenplitz - Lead Guitar / Photo by Julian Hetz
Lead Guitar

Matt Itzenplitz plays lead guitar, mandoline and fiddle. An update with more info about Matt is in the making. Watch out for more.

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