Rarely does a music group have longevity of years let alone decades. Since it's first performance in 1976, the Shades of Blue Orchestra has sustained a momentum largely unique to the music world, local or national. Perhaps some of that has to do with the staying power of the music. Mix together popular standards, a variety of dance-able rhythms, and a capable Big Band and you end up with a combination that never goes out of style. Perhaps some of that has to do with the band's signature patriotic opener and closer at public events. Perhaps it's just good fortune. But much of it has to do with the teaming of a group of talented, dedicated, and personable musicians who make for an environment true to the music, committed to excellence, and sensitive to the dancer and listener. What could be better than a group of hobbyists who take their craft seriously, a repertoire of great music that never disappoints, and a breadth of fans who love the music and the presentation to a point that they dance up a storm, listen with pleasure, smile, and enthusiastically applaud. Such is the world of the Shades of Blue Orchestra. So what took this group so long to make their first recorded album? Perhaps a leaning toward the energy of live performance? Time devoted to rehearsal as opposed to recording? Expense? There's really no definitive reason; however, as time moved on the message from the dancer and listener alike became louder and clearer... 'You guys need to do a CD!' Well, it finally happened. And the result could not be more pleasing! You could say that Shades of Blue puts a '3-D' touch on their music - a repertoire spanning Decades of great music, Dance-able arrangements that do not disappoint, and a presentation style that brings even the most elusive Dreams alive. It's not surprising that this first album offering from Shades of Blue is entitled 'Dreamsville.' E.Y. Harburg, composer of 'Over The Rainbow' and other greats, once said, 'Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.' And when you 'feel a thought,' all paths lead to dreams of people and places, special times and melancholy times, the past and the future. Jazz great Thad Jones once commented in a 1970's interview that every piece of music should paint a picture. Maybe in today's world, it's a moving picture -- video. Yet all too often, video music channels offer the music while taking away the dream journey from the listener. For with music videos, the 'picture' is someone else's, not your own. The interpretation may work for you or it may not. It's far more substantive, moving, interesting, and fun to take your brush and the palette offered by the music and paint your own picture - a picture that may change from sitting to sitting, or one that may stay the same allowing for a repeat visit to your dream setting. With 'Dreamsville,' Shades of Blue puts forth a collection of wonderful standards that 'paint pictures.' You'll find songs diversified in mood, orientation, and perspective. In most instances, they're compositions that have withstood changing generations, changing styles in music, and changing cultural patterns. This is the color palette - the classic Big Band interpretation and well-known rhythmic melody of 'In The Mood,' the melancholy but longingly hopeful message of 'Someone To Watch Over Me,' the light, relaxing latin style of 'Carefree,' the romantic, beauty-of-a-woman stirrings of 'The Way You Look Tonight,' the frenetic energy and 'gotta dance' drive of 'Sing, Sing, Sing,' or the happy, life-is-good lift of 'My Girl.' And not to be overlooked, the hauntingly beautiful, reflective mood of the album's title song - a Henry Mancini masterpiece. The palette has a vast array of vibrant, pastel, warm, cool, intense, and relaxed colors to create some incredible dreams. So sit back in your lounge chair, settle into your car, or practice your dance steps while embarking on a journey to 'Dreamsville.' Baltimore-based Shades of Blue performs throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. (and beyond as requested). The orchestra has performed at a variety of events and venues -- from wedding receptions to corporate functions, from the rear lawn of the white house on the block to a block from the White House. Audiences include people of a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, cultures, and locations -- distinctions that blend and complement in the presence of venerable Big Band music. Whether in a dance setting, a concert setting, or as a complement to the overall event, this Big band continues to generate a growing following of listeners, dancers, veterans of the Big Band era, and those new to it.