30 Years of Being Brave

Denton's Brave Combo tells us about 30 years in the "nuclear polka" business and their new symphonic album

By Greg Janda
|  Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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30 Years of Being Brave

Jane Finch

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"It's been a 24-hour-a-day job since 1979," Carl Finch, founder of Denton's Brave Combo, tells us before a recent show. That makes this their 30th year playing the "nuclear polka" tunes that have gotten them notice from David Byrne (they played his wedding), an appearance on The Simpsons, and two Grammy awards.

We first heard them years ago at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival where they blew our minds with the "nuclear polka" that made them famous. Yet, in the smaller, cooler space of Sundance Square's Scat Jazz Lounge, their sound was tight, bright, and ready to make people dance.

If you missed the show, don't fret. Brave Combo performs with special guests, Brazen Bellies, on Aug. 29 at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton. But, like all things Brave Combo, expect a unique show -- this one is in celebration of their latest CD release "Symphonic Polkas."

Recorded with the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, "Symphonic Polkas" is a collection of Brave Combo's work newly arranged for nearly every instrument. "We've even got parts for harps," Finch tells us.

This transcendant musical combo might be a way to snag another Grammy; the best Polka Album Grammy category will not be in this year's awards. Finch admits they tried to time the release for the last round of Grammy submissions, but he says they're not only out to win awards. "I was happy enough with the first one," Finch said.

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