July 26, 2019

AND ANOTHER ONE GONE…

Oh, man. Just when we’re starting to come to grips with the loss of such rarefied music legends as Dr. John and Dave Bartholomew, comes the news that Art Neville has passed away. The anchor at keys for the mighty Neville Brothers and the Meters, one of the founding fathers of New Orleans funk music, this is a major loss. Even though he had been in declining health and not playing gigs for some time, he leaves a massive hole in the soul of New Orleans. Fortunately, the music he left us lives on, as do the contributions of his remaining brothers Aaron and Cyril (Charles passed in 2018), his son Ian and nephew Ivan, both members of Dumpstaphunk. Nobody lives forever, obviously, but some losses hit harder than others. Rest in peace, brother Art. Farewell, Poppa Funk.

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June 29, 2019

FAREWELL TO SOME NOLA LEGENDS

It’s been a tough month for fans of New Orleans music. The world lost two bonafide legends and a wonderful singer-songwriter who never quite achieved legendary status, but whose passing is sad just the same. Dr. John, The Night Tripper, or as he was known in his earthly guise, Mac Rebennack, gave us so much amazing music in his inimitable style. He was one of the flag-bearers for the entire New Orleans piano genre for decades. Dave Bartholomew lent his considerable talents as a writer, producer, arranger and trumpet player to help bring Fats Domino into the limelight and form one of the early building blocks of rock-and-roll. And Spencer Bohren, much lesser-known but universally loved, was a talented storyteller and singer who carried his unique folk style and NOLA sensibilities around the world. We’re not a New Orleans band, but the music and culture are in our DNA, and these artists are among those who have influenced and inspired us from the very beginning. They will be missed, but happily, the gifts they gave us all will never fade away.

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June 13, 2019

WHEN FBBB MET STANLEY

We are so proud of our hometown Blues for winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, and very happy that we got to be a part of their incredible run. We played at Enterprise Center before several playoff games, and got to march a group of Blues alumni down Market Street before Game Four in St. Louis. The highlight of that parade was getting a quick photo with the actual cup. And now that cup will reside with the Blues, take place in a historic parade, and live in the memories of every hockey fan in our city forever. It’s been a magical journey — enjoy it, St. Louis!

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May 22, 2019

LGB!

Like 99.99% of the city of St. Louis, we’re very excited to see our professional hockey team ascend to the freakin’ Stanley Cup Finals after a 49-year drought. We cut a brass band version of the famous W.C. Handy tune “Saint Louis Blues” a couple years ago, and are giving all proceeds to the Blues For Kids charity organization (download the song and donate here). And we have been lucky to play before several Blues games at Enterprise Center, and love to help get the fans fired up. They’re probably not going to need our help during the Finals, but just in case, we will be back at the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten stage on Monday, June 3rd, before Game 4. Congrats to all long-suffering Blues fans in our town. Win four more games, and we just might have to learn “Gloria.” LET’S GO BLUES!

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April 24, 2019

THE CAPTAIN SAILS ON

When the Funky Butt Brass Band formed in 2008, we were already leaps and bounds ahead of most startup bands, because we had our very own sound man. Charlie “Captain” Spaulding (any Marx Brothers fans out there?) had been running sound for Gumbohead, a band featuring Tim (who had worked with him earlier in a band called Shut Up & Dance), Ron and original FBBB member Ben Reece on sax, for years, so it was a natural transition when we decided St. Louis needed its own New Orleans-style brass band. Over the years, Charlie has brought sound advice (pun intended),  exceptional mixing skills and knack for upgrading his PA equipment at precisely the right time. Not sure how many assorted configurations of sound systems he has, but it has to number in the dozens. Whether it was an intimate club gig, a boomy wedding venue or an expansive concert-in-the-park, the Captain always brought the goods. It’s impossible to count the number of times fans have complimented FBBB on the clarity and effectiveness of its live sound. Well, an era ends on Saturday, April 27 at the Broadway Oyster Bar, when we bid farewell to Charlie and his wife Deb as they pack up the big trailer and head off to enjoy a life of leisure at their new home in Lady Lake, Florida. It will be a sentimental celebration of more than a decade working with the finest sound man around. We’re very sorry to see him go, and we will soldier on with a rotating crew of gifted audio professionals, but we’re so glad to have had the opportunity to work with him. Sail on, O Captain! (Photo by Corey Woodruff)

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March 18, 2019

BANDS, BEER AND OYSTERS. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?

We’re excited to perform once again at the Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival, an annual event from the folks who make Schlafly Beer here in St. Louis that brings together some of our favorite things: hearty Schlafly stout (we like the Coffee Stout, but they’re all amazing), live music and thousands upon thousands of oysters, served up just about any way you can imagine. Check out the bands who will be entertaining the revelers, and come on down to the Schlafly Tap Room to experience this pearl of an event.

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January 2, 2019

NEW YEAR, NEW OPPORTUNITIES

At the risk of sounding like every other New Year’s post on every other website and blog — it’s 2019, and that brings a new beginning and a chance to explore new things. For some, that means getting healthier or dropping old, bad habits. For others, it’s about staying vigilant and being more active with social and/or political causes. For musicians, it’s a chance to find new avenues to put your musical message across, to play with new people and to generally get out of your comfort zone. We are big advocates of all of the above. You may not achieve all your big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs), but if you manage even a step toward them, it’s better than sitting still. So here’s to 2019 and all we make of it, individually and (hopefully) together. Happy New Year to all our funky friends!

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December 18, 2018

OUR HEARTS GREW THREE SIZES LAST WEEKEND!

While that sounds like some dreaded cardiac malady, it actually refers to the joy we felt during our 10th Annual Holiday Brasstravaganza, held at Off Broadway on December 14, 15 and 16. Once again, we are so blessed and grateful for everyone who made it possible and shared it with us: Steve Pohlman and the amazing staff at Off Broadway; our special guests — Emily Wallace, Roland Johnson, Al Holliday, Big Mike Aguirre, Bob Bennett, Sean Canan, Phil Wright, Anita Jackson, Steve Ewing, Jerry Jost and Typewriter Tim Jordan; our stellar guest musicians — Dave Grelle, Ben Reece, Derick Tramel, Matt Henry, Matt Brinkmann and Sophisticated Babies; our trusted sound man Charlie Spaulding, with help from Justin Brown and Kelly Hunziker; the production/lights/snow crew of Bobby Scharff and Joel Okun; the photography talents of Crystal Rolfe, Eric Nemens and Amy Meyerott; the lovely Liz and Christmas Catie who took care of the merch table; and all of you who came out for five fun, holiday spirit-fueled shows and reminded us that love is really what it’s all about. We love you all and will never fully be able to express our gratitude. Thank you for your support. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

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December 11, 2018

IT’S CHRISTMAS ALL OVER AGAIN!

Where did the year go? It’s already time for our 10th Annual Holiday Brasstravaganza, where music, merriment and mayhem collide, where wearing pajamas outside the house is actually encouraged, and where we generally have the time of our lives onstage with some of the most amazing artists St. Louis has to offer. This year, we descend on Off Broadway with three evening shows and two kids’ matinees, December 14-16. Our Saturday night show and both matinees are SOLD OUT, but tickets remain for Friday night and the 7 pm Sunday show. All weekend long, we’ll be joined by our usual holiday co-conspirators, Dave Grelle, Ben Reece, Matt Henry, Matt Brinkmann, Derick Tramel and Bob Bennett. On Friday, our guests include Miss Emily Wallace, Roland Johnson and Al Holliday. On sold-out Saturday, you’ll see Emily Wallace, Big Mike Aguirre, Phil Wright and, making his Brasstravaganza debut, Sean Canan. Wrapping up on Sunday, we feature Miss Anita Jackson, Steve Ewing and Jerry Jost. Typewriter Tim Jordan will continue his offbeat hosting duties, with occasional appearances by the Grinch various elves and that jolly old chimney-slider himself, Santa Claus. For more details and tickets, visit offbroadwaystl.com.

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October 18, 2018

HELL YEAH, SHUCK YEAH!

If you’re a fan of oysters (and why the hell wouldn’t you be?), make sure to join us for the second annual RFT Shuck Yeah! Festival at Molly’s in Soulard at 11 am on Sunday, November 4th. This party on the patio will bring together those tasty briny bivalves from across the country for a celebration of all-things-oyster and other bites from your favorite local restaurants. Plus enjoy craft cocktails and beer and live music from…well, who else?

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