, Muskogee, OK

June 18, 2013

Friends, fans share Swon stories

— Fans come from all over

Richard and Linda Jeffries of Maryland were on their way across Oklahoma after attending a car show in Roswell, N.M.

The couple happened to be in town when the top three contestants on NBC’s “The Voice” would be aired, so the couple, who love the Swon Brothers, decided to attend the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame “Swatch Party” for the June 3 show.

“It’s really great to see all these people coming together and doing this,” Linda, who is originally from Muskogee, said about the packed house at OMHOF. “We’re Swon Brothers fans and we had to come do this.”

They produce music, too

Executive Director of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Jermaine Mondaine said the Swon Brothers were “heavily involved” in his last four CDs.

On the first of those CDs, Zach was playing drums, he said.

“I recorded it at their house, and what is even cooler is that was when my second son was a newborn,” Mondaine said. “So the whole time we were in the studio recording, Colton was out there tending to my son Jordan, playing with him and keeping him from getting fussy.”

The brothers’ father said America has only skimmed the surface of what Zach and Colton can do.

“Definitely, they have songwriting abilities, too,” Mondaine said. “They’re on iTunes and YouTube with some of their own music. They’re well-respected as musicians all over.”

Zach loves laughs, snacks and movies

Zach Swon said on his first appearance on NBC’s “The Voice” that he’s the talent and Colton is the face of the Swon Brothers duo.

Their mother, Tammy Swon, said that’s not really true — both brothers are super talented.

Zach just loves being funny, she said.

“He’ll say anything for laughs,” Tammy said. “He loves to entertain. When he was little, he could watch a movie and quote you just about word for word the whole movie and do the characters for you.”

And America has heard Zach crack jokes about food, as if he really loves food and will do anything for food, on the show.

Tammy said he’s just joking, once again, but his love for diet Mountain Dew and Little Debbie snacks is very real.

“If there’s a Target around, they’ve probably already been there getting snacks,” Tammy said, laughing. “I’m sure they’re keeping some in their room.”

Brothers showed versatility at variety show

Loretta Carter first started playing music with the Swon Brothers’ parents and their group, Exodus, when Zach was about 3 and Colton was about 8 months old, she said.

She went on to play bass guitar and sing backup vocals at the family’s Westwood Music Show in Wagoner for about five years.

“Seeing them grow up on stage, I know they are excellent musicians and excellent songwriters,” Carter said.

She remembers a young Zach doing an Elvis impersonation and singing and Colton wooing the ladies, even as a little boy.

“Colton always did ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ and would pick a woman out of the audience to sing with,’ Carter said. “Of course, everyone always loved that.”

Carter said the brothers are both entertainers today, but when they were young, Colton was the entertainer, and Zach was more focused on the music.

“Zach was the show’s drummer. He went on to be accomplished on guitar and piano too, and sing,” she said. “But in the early years he was more focused on being a musician, and Colton focused on the singing, and it’s evolved from there.”

He feels blessed to have played along

Ron Boren, curator at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, said he was a drummer for the Swon Brothers full-time for a while and continues to play with them from time to time.

“I haven’t played with them for a couple of years, but I was so blessed to get a call last December to play their Christmas show with them,” he said.

Boren said he remembers great times traveling around playing with Zach and Colton when they were in their late teens and early 20s.

“That turned into some of the most fun years musically of my life,” Boren said. “Just the fellowship of the band was wonderful. And the prayer circle — every concert we got together and prayed, and that was very special.”

Musically, the diversity was “absolutely incredible,” he said.

“We played everything from Peggy Lee to Earth, Wind and Fire to gospel to country,” Boren said. “You definitely had to keep your head in the game playing with that band, because you never knew what songs they were going to throw at you — which is great.”

— Compiled by Wendy Burton