Shakey Breaks The Ice

The Joe Mooney Quartet

The name of this band (everyone asks!) is taken from a track recorded by the Joe Mooney Quartet in the 1940s. They played wonderful off-the-wall jazz and also happened to have the same slightly odd line-up that we do – accordion, clarinet, guitar, and bass. I remember lovingly transcribing the tune of”Shakey Breaks The Ice” and thinking how cool it would be for us to play it.

We did manage to learn it – and recorded our own version on our CD. We found it a little tricky to bring off in live performance, but we liked the name, and it stuck even after we stopped gigging the tune. 🙂



“Shakey Breaks The Ice” started in 2007 – with myself on guitar, Bert Santilly on accordion and Trevor Barlow on clarinet and sax. We like to play with double bass too, if budget permits, and our first choice bass player is Laurence Evans.


Our strapline is

“Guaranteed to begin your beguine!”

which I think is a fair description judging from the reactions we get at our gigs. The heart of our repertoire is swing jazz, and we also take full advantage of our instrumentation with French cafe tunes, gypsy and klezmer music.

This band is totally “perfect for that special occcasion” – please contact me if you would like details of how to book us.

We recorded a CD in 2008. It now lives on SoundCloud, and you can listen here. Do play it through some decent speakers! Try it as background dinner music, your guests will love it …