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Who: Dagmar and the Seductones When: 9 p.m. Tuesday Where: Clarendon Ballroom, Arlington

Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page VA05

»Mardi Gras can be a blast, and if you're looking to launch the Lenten season with a crowd that wants to have big fun without disgracing itself, here's the ticket.

Dagmar and the Seductones will be playing their high-voltage vintage rock 'n' roll for the weekly "Gotta Swing" dance lesson/concert on Fat Tuesday at the Clarendon Ballroom. Andrea Dagmar Brown, the fiery siren who leads the Seductones' sexy rockabilly charge, says, "It's an elegant setting, and the congenial crowd really loves to dance."

Roots rockers Dagmar and the Seductones are, from left, Bob "Newscaster" Swenson, Dave Elliott, Bryan Smith and Andrea Dagmar Brown. (Bill Hanke)

Since forming the Seductones in 2001, Brown has honed a sultry stage presence, at home in both funky juke joints and elegant ballrooms like the Clarendon's classy art deco setting.

In addition to Brown, the Seductones consist of Bob "Newscaster" Swenson (guitar), Dave Elliott (drums) and Bryan Smith (upright and electric bass), seasoned vets of the regional music scene who have shared stages with an amazing variety of artists. Swenson, who has been playing since he was 13, has supported performers such as Bo Diddley, Robert Gordon and Billy Hancock.

Smith recorded and toured as a member of the Star Spangled Washboard Band and worked with Swenson in the Tennessee Rockets. Elliott is a percussion master who has played with Danny Gatton, Les Paul, Hot Tuna and Bill Kirchen.

The group mixes original material with classics of early rock such as "Stupid Cupid," "Red Hot" and "You Belong to Me" on its debut CD, "Little Bitta Love," which came out last year on the Tym label. (You can sample sounds or order a copy at www.seductones.com.) The CD has received airplay and enthusiastic reviews in Europe, as well as in American roots rock circles.

The Seductones are off to a great start this year, having been nominated for several Washington Area Music Association Wammie Awards, including Best Roots Rock Group and Best Roots Rock Recording for "Little Bitta Love." Swenson and Elliott also will be battling each other for top honor in the Best Roots Rock Instrumentalist category. Since the Wammie Awards ceremony will take place the night before this show, the band probably will be in the mood to celebrate, or to rock their blues away. Either way, it should make for a roarin' good party.


The Clarendon Ballroom is located at 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. The cost is $10 at the door, or free for registered Tuesday night students of the swing dance group. For information on the dance classes, call 703-359-9882 or visit www.gottaswing.com. For information on the Clarendon Ballroom, call 703-469-2244 or visit www.clarendonballroom.com.

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