New Orleans Brass Bands S/D

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He's got a new cd with Rebirth I believe. I doubt they're together on tour though

Steve-k (Steve K), Sunday, 27 March 2005 02:34 (fourteen years ago) link

I downloaded a ton of stuff for free online a while ago. It is great stuff. Can't remember any names, though. I just filled two cds and labelled them New Orleans Jazz 1 and 2. It sounds drunk and it sounds happy and sometimes it stumbles along like a sad drunk but still manages to sound fun. Right after I saw "Wild Man Blues" I decided I should have some of that.

I think one was called Yarl River Blues Band.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Sunday, 27 March 2005 04:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Sunday, 27 March 2005 04:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks for the heads up Steve! Hot 8 in Downbeat, who knew.

I'll be going down to Jazzfest the first weekend to play with Mama Digdown's and see brass bands, can't wait.

Jordan (Jordan), Sunday, 27 March 2005 13:07 (fourteen years ago) link

It should be great.

From the April issue excerpt on Downbeat's website:

Next Generation New Orleans Brass Bands
Brass Beyond The Streets

By Jennifer Odell

Philip Frazier honks his sousaphone on a chilly January Sunday on the corner of Daneel and 3rd streets. Musicians start to shuffle away from the crowd milling outside the Bean Brothers Bar and strap on horns and snare drums, ready to get their roll on. Dancers for the Undefeated Dicas Social Aid and Pleasure Club come around the corner and tubas, sousaphones, saxophones and bass drums fall in line as the Divas belt out The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.”

Winding past Mary’s Nightowl Bar, Candlelight Bar, Sandpiper and The New Look, the parading community group hits all of the Uptown neighborhood’s brass band stops. Ostrich plumes fan the air above the Divas in time with Frazier’s non-stop vamps. When the dancers slow down and form a circle, trading moves with kids, the band plays even harder, echoing braay swueals off the projects across the street. This is how brass band music was born.

But it’s growing up. And while playing the second lines and funerals remains important, many of today’s hottest brass players are concentrating more on polishing their CDs and getting national recognition than on stealing the show on Sunday afternoons. The current generation is following the successful business model created by the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth brass bands; updating a traditional sound to make the music relevant to a larger audience. And with each step forward, another cross-breed of the brass band sound is born. Mardi Gras Indian bands like Big Sam’s Funky Nation are based in funk, the Soul Rebels are purveyors of hip-hop and the Hot 8, New Birth and the Stooges hold down the street scene with their bebop-heavy takes on the traditional style.

Steve-k (Steve K), Sunday, 27 March 2005 16:07 (fourteen years ago) link


MARDI GRAS 2005: a photo essay by Ned Sublette
Also Check out Interviews with Joseph Roach, Donald Harrison, and Vicki Mayer by Ned Sublette

Steve-k (Steve K), Sunday, 27 March 2005 16:14 (fourteen years ago) link

there was some sorta Folkways record i checked out in Fredericksburg, Texas, and it dirged and dirtied heaving heavier than a mule cry, as syrupy and sun-stroked than just about anything i could think of (though that recent Sub Rosa Tibetan ceremony thing is sorta close). one of those New Orleans series ones. don't know if a single tortoise tune clocked in under eight minutes...

imbidimts, Sunday, 27 March 2005 16:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Nice. I used to love going to Bean Brothers to see Hot 8, but they've switched their Sunday gig to Patio 79. I'll have to read the whole article (though Hot 8, New Birth, and the Stooges are NOT "bebop-heavy", ha).

Jordan (Jordan), Sunday, 27 March 2005 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm looking forward to that Kermit w/Rebirth album next week because it's new brass band record, but he's really not much of a trumpet player these days (whereas Kabuki, Rebirth's trumpet player, is the fucking best). Apparently he doesn't mind setting himself up against hot players though, like on that Harry Connick record where Leroy Jones just slaughters him.

The only recording of I've heard of Kermit where he sounds really good is Treme Brass Band's Gimme My Money Back, which is ten years old.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 28 March 2005 13:04 (fourteen years ago) link

That Treme Brass Band "Gimme My Money Back" one is a great one. I got that on my last trip to N'awlins back in '96. "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans" goes the song by somebody, and I do.

steve-k, Monday, 28 March 2005 14:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Aw man, that's WAY too long. I start jonesing after a few months with no New Orleans.

Have you heard the Stooges and Hot 8 cds, Steve?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 28 March 2005 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

No. I need to get back up to speed and check out those two and the Soul Rebels.

steve-k, Monday, 28 March 2005 15:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Kermit Ruffins is almost as dull as Los Hombres Calientes. They're the extremely boring and acceptable face of contemporary New Orleans music.

Jordan is SO SO SO OTM about Hot 8.

adam (adam), Monday, 28 March 2005 15:15 (fourteen years ago) link

The new Soul Rebels album is's WAY produced, with lots of slightly corny programming, guest stars, electric bass, etc. There are a couple of hot tracks (like Work It Out and They Don't Know, mostly for the MASSIVE SOUSAPHONE WHOOMPS that Damien's only done live until now), but it's not really a brass band album for the most part.

I love Hot 8 to death and I'm so happy that they finally put out a damn record. I wish the mix did a little more justice to the drummers (same for the Stooges record actually), but it's really good anyway.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 28 March 2005 15:26 (fourteen years ago) link

The new Kermit Ruffins/Rebirth record Throwback is pretty good. Like the title says, it's mostly happy festival type tunes like old-school Rebirth. The production is really big and clean sounding and it's a pretty hot lineup (Corey Henry on trombone, Trombone Shorty on trombone one tune). Kermit isn't 1/2 the trumpet player that Derrick Shezbie is, but it's fun and there are some HOT trombone solos. Any week with a new brass band record is a good week!

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 8 April 2005 17:17 (fourteen years ago) link

An old buddy of mine, who's originally from Louisiana, has somehow arranged to head back to New Orleans for his work for the next month or so, just in time to go to the French Quarter Fest and stay through jazz fest. Aww man.

steve-k, Friday, 8 April 2005 20:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Nice. I will be there next week!

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 8 April 2005 20:22 (fourteen years ago) link

What is the brass band thing with Souljah Slim on it?

Ian Johansen (nordicskilla), Friday, 8 April 2005 21:38 (fourteen years ago) link

'You Don't Wanna Go to War', off of Rebirth's Hot Venom record (other bands play it as Hurricane Jorge though, Digdown did a version on the last record).

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 8 April 2005 21:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Okay, there's some serious filler on the second half of that Kermit disc. Talking about New Orleans over the band for 6 1/2 minutes, Happy Birthday, a wack hip-hop tune, some wack Kermit features, etc.. I wouldn't recommend it for a brass band introduction, but it has its moments.

Jordan (Jordan), Saturday, 9 April 2005 14:33 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I wonder if there are any brass bands in this movie documentary coming to the AFI Silver Spring Md theatre:

Michael Murphy
USA, 2005, TBD

New Orleans is at the center of this story about musicians who brought funk to rhythm & blues and rock & roll. Featuring Big Sam's Funky Nation, the Neville Brothers and Allen Toussaint, with special appearances by Bonnie Raitt and Keith Richards.

Friday 6/17 at 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 6/18 at 3:15 p.m.

At the SILVER PLAZA in Downtown Silver Spring

Friday night fun will surely ensue when New Orleans funk legends Walter Washington and Big Sam's Funky Nation perform live in conjunction with MAKE IT FUNKY!, yet another film in our fabulous - and FUNKY! - Music Documentary strand.

Friday 6/17
Music starts at 7:30 p.m., film rolls at 9:30 p.m.

Steve K (Steve K), Friday, 27 May 2005 03:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Bonnie Raitt has to pop up in everything like her name is Zelig or something. She and Jackson Browne showed up onstage to sing background for a song or 2 when I saw Brian Wilson.

Back to New Orleans stuff-I've seen Big Sam's Funky Nation mentioned in Offbeat but I don't know anything about them.

steve-k, Friday, 27 May 2005 12:00 (fourteen years ago) link

The Stooges might be in there, since Sam plays for them sometimes and they did a track on his record, but I doubt it. I know he's related to Andrews family, who are mostly musicians (sometimes it seems like everyone is at least a first or second cousin of everyone else in the brass band scene).

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 27 May 2005 13:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Anyway Big Sam's Funky Nation is one of the New Orleans nu-funk bands, they're okay.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 27 May 2005 13:11 (fourteen years ago) link

(Big) Sammy played trombone with the Dirty Dozen for a bit, before setting off to do his own thing. He's really fun to watch, but the bit of Funky Nation I heard at Jazzfest this year didn't thrill me; too monster-guitar heavy.

Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Friday, 27 May 2005 13:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Heh, did you see him with the Andrews family band? Two snare drummers, two sousaphones, two trumpets, two bones, a bass drummer, AND a five piece funk-rock band behind them. Total trainwreck.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 27 May 2005 13:31 (fourteen years ago) link

There was a jaw harp solo though.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 27 May 2005 13:31 (fourteen years ago) link

one of the coolest things I ever saw was ReBirth doing a late-night gig at the Maple Leaf (i think... over on Oak St?) and some young rappers - somebody mentioned they might be some Cash Money up-and-comers - got up and did some of the bawdiest rhymes I'd ever heard over the music. CLASSIC.

Will(iam), Friday, 27 May 2005 14:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Rebirth did some foul-mouthed rhymes themselves the last time I saw them, but I bet it wasn't as good as what you saw Will.

steve-k, Friday, 27 May 2005 15:56 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah, the Rebirth dudes were trading rhymes as well. The guys that got up there with them may have just been friends. I certainly didn't recognize them from the main CM roster and the tip came from some random, (possibly) clueless dude. Whatever the case, lily-white debs backing that azz up and suggestively carressing the trombone player's horn (heh) was a site to behold...

Will(iam), Friday, 27 May 2005 17:50 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...
Revive. Hey Jordan and other brass band afficionados--

September 8, 2005
Jazz Musicians Ask if Their Scene Will Survive
By BEN RATLIFF, New York Times
New Orleans is a jazz town, but also a funk town, a brass-band town, a hip-hop town and a jam-band town. It has international jazz musicians and hip-hop superstars, but also a true, subsistence-level street culture. Much of its music is tied to geography and neighborhoods, and crowds.

All that was incontrovertibly true until a week ago Monday. Now the future for brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians, to cite two examples, looks particularly bleak if their neighborhoods are destroyed by flooding, and bleaker still with the prospect of no new tourists coming to town soon to infuse their traditions with new money. Although the full extent of damage is still unknown, there is little doubt that it has been severe - to families, to instruments, to historical records, to clubs, to costumes. "Who knows if there exists a Mardi Gras Indian costume anymore in New Orleans?" wondered Don Marshall, director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation.

"A lot of the great musicians came right out of the Treme neighborhood and the Lower Ninth Ward," said the trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, temporarily speaking in the past tense, by phone from Houston yesterday. Mr. Ruffins, one of the most popular jazz musicians in New Orleans, made his name there partly through his regular Thursday-night gig over the last 12 years at Vaughan's, a bar in the Bywater neighborhood, where red beans and rice were served at midnight. Now Vaughn's may be destroyed, and so may his new house, which is not too far from the bar.

On Saturday evening Mr. Ruffins flew back to New Orleans from a gig in San Diego, having heard the first of the dire storm warnings. He stopped at a lumberyard to buy wood planks, boarded up 25 windows on his house, then went bar-hopping and joked with his friends that where they were standing might be under water the next day.

The next morning he fled to Baton Rouge with his family, and now he is in Houston, about to settle into apartments, along with more than 30 relatives. He is being offered plenty of work in Houston, and is already thinking ahead to what he calls "the new New Orleans."

"I think the city is going to wind up being a smaller area," he said. "They'll have to build some super levees.

"I think this will never happen again once they get finished," Mr. Ruffins added. "We're going to get those musicians back, the brass bands, the jazz funerals, everything."

Brass bands function through the year - not only through the annual Jazzfest, where many outsiders see them, and jazz funerals, but at the approximately 55 social aid and pleasure clubs, each of which holds a parade once a year. It is an intensely local culture, and has been thriving in recent years. Brass-band music, funky and hard-hitting, can easily be transformed from the neighborhood social to a club gig; brass bands like Rebirth, Dirty Dozen and the Soul Rebels have done well by touring as commercial entities. Members of Stooges Brass Band have ended up in Atlanta, and of Li'l Rascals in Houston; there could be a significant brass-band diaspora before musicians find a way to get home to New Orleans. (Rebirth's Web site,, has been keeping a count of brass-band musicians who have been heard from.)

The Mardi Gras Indian tradition is more fragile. Monk Boudreaux is chief of the Golden Eagles, one of the 40 or so secretive Mardi Gras tribes, who are known not just for their flamboyant feathered costumes but for their competitive parades through neighborhoods at Mardi Gras time. (Mardi Gras Indians are not American Indians but New Orleanians from the city's working-class black neighborhoods.) Mr. Boudreaux, now safe with his daughter in Mesquite, Tex., stayed put through the storm at his house in the Uptown neighborhood; when he left last week, he said, the water was waist-high. He chuckled when asked if the Mardi Gras Indian tradition could survive in exile. "I don't know of any other Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans," he said.

These days a city is often considered a jazz town to the extent that its resident musicians have international careers. The bulk of New Orleans jazz musicians have shown a knack for staying local. (Twenty or so in the last two decades, including several Marsalises, are obvious exceptions.)

But as everyone knows, jazz is crucial to New Orleans, and New Orleans was crucial in combining jazz's constituent parts, its Spanish, French, Caribbean and West African influences. The fact that so many musicians are related to one or another of the city's great music families - Lastie, Brunious, Neville, Jordan, Marsalis - still gives much of the music scene a built-in sense of nobility. "Whereas New York has a jazz industry," said Quint Davis, director of Jazzfest, "New Orleans has a jazz culture." (Speaking of Jazzfest, Mr. Davis was not ready to discuss whether there will be a festival next April. "First I'm dealing with the lives and subsistence of the people who produce it," he said. [Since this article ran, they announced that the Fest will take place somewhere in Louisiana next April-steve k])

And most jazz in New Orleans has a directness about it. "Everyone isn't searching for the hottest, newest lick," said Maurice Brown, a young trumpeter from Chicago who had been rising through the ranks of the New Orleans jazz scene for the last four years before the storm took his house and car. "People are trying to stay true to the melody."

Gregory Davis, the trumpeter and vocalist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, one of the city's most successful groups, said the typical New Orleans musician was vulnerable because of how he lives and works. (Mr. Davis's house is in the Gentilly neighborhood; he spoke last week from his brother's home in Dallas.)

"A lot of these guys who are playing out there in the clubs are not home owners," he said. "They're going to be at the mercy of the owners of those properties. For some of them, playing in the clubs was the only means of earning any money. If those musicians come back and don't have an affordable home, that's a big blow."

Louis Edwards, a New Orleans novelist and an associate producer of the Jazz and Heritage Festival, said, "No other city is so equipped to deal with this." A French Quarter resident, Mr. Edwards was taking refuge last week at his mother's house in Lake Charles, La.

"Think of the jazz funeral," he said. "In New Orleans we respond to the concept of following tragedy with joy. That's a powerful philosophy to have as the underpinning of your culture."

In the meantime, Mr. Boudreaux, chief of the Golden Eagles, has a feeling his own Mardi Gras Indian costume is intact. He was careful to put it in a dry place before he left home. "I just need to get home and get that Indian suit from on top of that closet," he said.

steve k, Sunday, 11 September 2005 19:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Which brass band was that with Paul Simon on tv the other night?

steve k, Sunday, 11 September 2005 19:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Don't know; Simon's voice puts me to sleep, and by the time I woke up, they were about finished. Speaking of the Ninth Ward, saw Irwin Mayfield on CNN the other night: several members of his immediate family were still missing at that point, but he'd had the fortitude to compose "The Ninth Ward Blues," which he played solo. It was rather exhilarating, and (yes) searching.

don, Monday, 12 September 2005 01:23 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't know either, but apparently Rebirth is going to be part of a benefit concert airing on the 20th of this month, from NYC.

One of the weird side effects of this whole thing is that most New Orleans musicians are instantly on tour as of now, since that's the only way they can make some money. I sent a snare drum down to Rebirth last week and saw them play up here a few days ago, and we're playing a benefit show with the Stooges in a couple weeks too. Apparently Bill Summers and Davell Crawford played in Minneapolis tonight, etc.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 02:30 (fourteen years ago) link

How can I get 'em to come to D.C.? I know folks who do booking around here and in Baltimore.

New Orleans r'n'b singer Marva Wright and her extended family are now in Maryland. I got sent an e-mail asking for clothes and stuff. The e-mail didn't say where her band is, or if she was gonna do any singing around here.

Steve K (Steve K), Monday, 12 September 2005 03:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Rebirth has played in the DC area before but never the Stooges brass band. Anybody have a contact for them? I read they're gonna play up in Boston, so maybe they could come to DC right before or after.

steve-k, Monday, 12 September 2005 03:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Steve, is that your real e-mail address?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 12:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Uh, yea, one of 'em.

steve k, Monday, 12 September 2005 13:34 (fourteen years ago) link

Cool, check your e-mail.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 12 September 2005 14:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Here's my review of ReBirth's show on Saturday:

...with more pictures here:

...and more to come. Weird to think that Houston is now the safehouse of this culture. Houston!

Katy Reckdahl also tells the incredible story of her and her husband, brass band veteran "Kid Merv" Campbell, here:

Mike from Jack Brass Band is talking about getting the Soul Rebels to play Minneapolis...

Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 00:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Doing what I can to get Lil' Stooges Brass Band to DC and maybe Baltimore. Thanks Jordan.

steve k, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 12:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Thanks to both of you dudes, this is great. Pete, the Stooges should be playing in Mpls very soon as well (like within the next few weeks).

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 13 September 2005 12:59 (fourteen years ago) link

Yall might wanna check Maria Tessa's ILM email address, she does a lot of booking in Philly. May already have this, but for whomever: couple of good NOLA links for present/ongoing situation: (radio station "in exile" now; sounds and reads good) also:

don, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 16:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Sorry, Mike might have said the Stooges, not the Soul Rebels...

Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 13 September 2005 21:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Ha, I love this picture of Kabuki from SFGate:


Some upcoming shows that I know about:

-Rebirth Brass Band, tonight at Martyr's (Chicago)
-Rebirth Brass Band, Sept. 20th on that big pay-per-view benefit show at Madison Square Garden & Radio City Music Hall
-Stooges Brass Band, Sept. 25th at ??? (Boston)
-Stooges Brass Band/Youngblood Brass Band/Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Oct. 9th at the King Club (Madison)
-Stooges Brass Band/Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Oct. 10th at Fitzgerald's (Chicago)

There should be a lot more dates in the midwest and elsewhere from Rebirth, Hot 8, Stooges, etc.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Try that again:

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:46 (fourteen years ago) link

hey jordan do you have any kind of contact info for these guys, especially rebirth? they're playing here in (i think) late oct. and i'd like to get something popping. (i still play that mix cd constantly.)

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link

actually, scratch that, unfortunately they're playing the 12th so no time for anything but a blurb at this point :(

strng hlkngtn (dubplatestyle), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Okay, that's too bad. Steve K is helping out trying to get the Stooges a Baltimore date, but nothing final yet.

(do you still check your hotmail address?)

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 16 September 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link

I just posted the entire transcript of my interview with ReBirth snare drummer Derrick Tabb. He talks about how he stole a van to evacuate elderly folks to the Convention Center and get his family to Houston. By the time his band mates were telling the story onstage in Minneapolis last Saturday, of course, the van had become a bus, and it arrived in Houston with a police escort.

Pete Scholtes, Friday, 16 September 2005 22:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Also we're at Tipitina's the night before:

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 16:58 (one week ago) link

My new source for long second-line videos is a youtube account called 'urban mommy'

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 17:36 (one week ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 20 February 2020 20:33 (one week ago) link

seattle and new york brass band:

j., Thursday, 20 February 2020 22:23 (one week ago) link

A 2019 movie doc called Up From the Streets , that purports to cover all of New Orleans music history is gonna show at a DC indie doc fest in March. Terrence Blanchard is the narrator.

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 February 2020 17:10 (one week ago) link

Don’t usually agree with them but here’s Offbeat magazine’s best of 2019 that includes Soul Rebels “Poetry in Motion” album as their best brass band winner. Rebels also won for best video

curmudgeon, Thursday, 27 February 2020 15:59 (yesterday) link

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