Carolyn Sills Combo will swing through town

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The Carolyn Sills Combo has a knack for playing music that evokes the sounds of country and western swing from the ‘40s, ‘50s and early ‘60s while adding a fresh energy of their own.

The group brought their Patsy Cline Birthday Bash to The Palms Playhouse in September. When they return on Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m., they’ll perform primarily their own award-winning music.

Lead singer, guitarist and bassist Carolyn Sills and her longtime guitarist (and husband) Gerard Egan write and produce the group’s songs. Sills and Egan are heavily influenced by spaghetti western films as well as their vinyl record collection, and cite Bob Wills, Patsy Cline, Merle Travis, Marty Robbins, and Les Paul and Mary Ford as influences.

Sills brings soul, sass and a touch of swagger to her performances, spiced with tongue-in-check humor. The band meets this energy, and the Combo’s shows are chock full of three-part vocal harmonies, tight arrangements and instrumentals featuring dueling steel and guitar.

In addition to Sills and Egan, the band includes top Monterey Bay players Charlie Joe Wallace on steel guitar, Jimmy Norris on drums and Sunshine Jackson on vocals and percussion.

In February, the Santa Cruz-based outfit was named Western Swing Group of the Year at the Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis. They had received three previous nominations for that award, as well as nominations for the Ameripolitan Awards’ Female Vocalist of the Year. They are also a two-time nominee for the Academy of Western Artist’s award for western swing group and album.

No Depression named the band’s current release, “Dime Stories Vol. 2,” one of the top new releases of 2016.

Tickets for the Caroline Sills Combo’s Friday, March 16, show at The Palms Playhouse are $18 and are available online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite, as well as at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland and at the door if the show is not sold out.

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