Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter
In the tradition of classic country guitar players like Hank Garland and James Burton, Louie Bond is known as one of Montana’s best country/rock/blues guitarists. He is also a gifted singer/songwriter performing and publishing many of his originals.
He was born in Miami, Oklahoma, and began playing guitar in 1965 at age 16. At 21 he moved to Dallas, Texas, and landed professional gigs in house bands playing 5-6 nights a week (Longhorn Ballroom, etc.). He discovered Montana on a road gig and moved to Missoula in 1974 continuing his full-time career in house bands as a journeyman guitarist. Touring, Louie opened for and backed up many famous country stars, including Bakersfield artists David Frizell, Lawanda Lindsay, Tony Booth, Buck Owens, and his son Buddy Allen in the 1970s as well as Restless Heart, Sawyer Brown, Bobby Bare, Ferlin Husley, Roy Head and Vern Gosdin.
Playing gigs locally in Western Montana 5 nights a week continually for many years Louie has played regularly with Country Boogie Boys, Haywire, Monte Monroe, and many other bands as lead guitarist and vocalist. After a recording date in 1998 for a TV ad with Hoyt Axton Louie became Hoyt’s personal guitarist helping the retired songwriter/performer co-write several of his last songs before Hoyt’s passing in 1999.
Louie and Kimberlee are founding members of Montana’s hottest Texas swing band Western Union Swing Band (Texas Swing) with bandmates David Horgan and Beth Lo from one of Montana’s most renowned jazz and R&B bands-the Big Sky Mudflaps. They had the distinction of being the only Montana band to play the Montana Folk Festival (July 2016) as well as opened for Marty Stewart (Sept 2015) and Colorado’s renowned Hot Rize (July 2015).
Kimberlee Carlson, from Odessa, Texas, has been singing country, jazz, and swing since 1979 and as a professional dancer/singer she performed dancing and singing in reviews in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York City. In the 1980s and ’90s, she performed and toured internationally with the Los Angeles jazz band Swingstreet as well as fronted her own jazz quartet performing regularly at the Vine Street Bar and Grill (Los Angeles) for many years. In addition to gigging in Western Montana with her jazz trio/quartet, she has been featured in Montana’s jazz festival Jazzoula 2012-2020.
Western Union Swing Band
Western Union Combining the talents of one of Montana’s best country guitarists Louie Bond with some of Missoula’s best jazz/swing musicians-guitarist DR Halsell and Big Sky Mudflap fame David Horgan and Beth Lo plus jazz swing vocalist Kimberlee Carlson, Western Union is excited to bring real western swing to Missoula for your dancing pleasure. Rounding out the band on vocals with swingingest sticks in Missoula is Rich Brinkman on drums! Louie Bond has been playing Bob Will’s style western swing since the early 1980s when he played with famous country bands at Dallas’s Longhorn Ballroom. David Horgan, while known in Montana as one of the best jazz guitar players, has been playing peddle steel since the 1980s. Jazz swing vocalist Kimberlee Carlson toured internationally with the Los Angeles band Swingstreet in the 1980s as well as performs regularly in Western Montana with her jazz trio. Western Union promises to bring a good dancing time performing classic country and swing.
Louie Bond was born in Miami, Oklahoma, and began playing guitar in 1965 at the age of16 and has been playing guitar professionally for over 60 years. He discovered Montana on a road gig and moved to Missoula in 1974. He worked in Dallas playing 5-6 nights a week at the internationally famous western swing venue the Longhorn Ballroom. Louie has opened for and backed up many famous country stars, including Bakersfield artists David Frizell, Lawanda Lindsay, Tony Booth, Buck Owens, and his son Buddy Allen in the 1970s as well as Restless Heart, Sawyer Brown, Bobby Bare, Ferlin Husley, Roy Head and Vern Gosdin. Along with Western Union, he performs regularly with his band/duo.
David Horgan-Steel Guitar/Vocals
David Horgan grew up in Reno, Nevada, and played some of his earliest gigs in casino lounges. He was in a number of bands in the Bay Area, before moving to Montana in 1975. Besides Western Union, he is a member of the Big Sky Mudflaps, Salsa Loca, the Ed Norton Big Band, the Country Kings, and several other ensembles, playing guitar, pedal steel guitar, and piano. He and his wife, bassist Beth Lo, also frequently perform as a jazz duo around western Montana.
Beth Lo was born and raised in Indiana and came to Missoula in the early 1970s to study art with ceramicist Rudy Autio. She has been a Professor of Art at the University of Montana since 1985. Beth plays both upright and electric bass in several bands in addition to Western Union, including the Big Sky Mudflaps and Salsa Loca, as well as with guitarist David Horgan in duo and trio settings.
Kimberlee Carlson, from Odessa, Texas, has been singing jazz and swing since the early 1980s. During the 80’s and early ’90s, she performed and toured internationally with the Los Angeles band Swingstreet and fronted her own jazz quartet in Los Angeles performing at various jazz/cabaret venues such as Vine Street Bar and Grill. She was featured in several Las Vegas reviews as a dancer and lead singer in the 1980s in NYC and Los Angeles. She moved to Montana in 2007. She has been featured annually at Missoula’s jazz festival Jazzoula since 2012. She performs regularly in Western Montana with her jazz trio.
Where jazz meets country Western Union features Missoula’s famed guitarists Louie Bond, DR Halsell, and David Horgan (on steel) playing classic “countrypolitan” western swing with bassist Beth Lo, drummer Rich Brinkman and swing vocalist Kimberlee Carlson.
Born into a pioneer Texas cattle ranching family, DR’s parents shared awareness of the importance of music. He was encouraged to pick up an instrument early on. He has lived in Western Montana since 1972 with extended stays in Alaska, Washington, California, and Nevada where he pursued his career as a professional guitarist. Proficient in many styles and genres, he is a graduate of the Music Institute in Los Angeles, California. DR has been playing professionally for 50 years and now enjoys playing locally in Missoula, Montana.