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Spreadin♪ Rhythm Around is a hot new band on the Worcester scene with a special thing for Harlem Swing, the party-powering hot-to-sweet sound made famous by the 1920’s-30’s renditions of “Fats” Waller (Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Joint Is Jumpin’, Your Feets’ Too Big). Core band members are “Dr. Nat” Needle on stride piano, James Butrym on upright bass, and Chuck Demers (of “Chuck & Mud” fame) on drums. The band is also occasionally joined by singer/guitarist Mud Rocheleau-Demers (of even more “Chuck & Mud” fame) and by other top-notch instrumentalists when a larger ensemble is called for.
The Spreadin♪ Rhythm Around name comes from its theme song, a Jimmy McHugh (of “Sunny Side of the Street” fame) classic that Fats made into a hit. Harlem Swing found its irresistible groove at Harlem “Rent Parties”, where a line-up of the top piano-players, masters of the two-fisted “stride” piano style, would gather in the tenement apartment of some friends with a cover charge to help them raise the money for the rent and keep the wolf from the door for another month. In that tradition, Spreadin♪ Rhythm Around makes itself especially available for benefit concerts to raise funds for worthy causes, such as its April 12, 2014 benefit for Aids Project Worcester.