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The Funky Butt Brass Band - You Can Trust The Funky Butt Brass Band

Self Release


Six guys from St. Louis, Missouri offer their spin on the New Orleans brass band tradition and achieve mixed results. Half covers and half band originals run the gamut from funk, blues traditional New Orleans jazz and pop with a St. Louis vibe creeping in and out. The band consists of four horns, guitar and percussion. The guitar takes on a rhythm role, often buried in the mix, with no discernable solos evident. The horn chops and percussion are right on the money.

The catchy “Do That Thang” gets things going, while showing the cleverness they adopted from The Dirty Dozen Brass Band ala group vocals and an infectious groove. The jive-talkin’ rap of “St. Louis Breakdown” sounds a bit too contrived to my ears. The tribute to Oliver Sain would have fared better as an instrumental. The breathtaking solos jumping in-and-out rescue the tune. “South Broadway Stumble” sounds exactly like a wobbly, drunken stroll down the boulevard, with trumpet, sax and trombone “wah-wah-ing” manically to-and-fro.

The two cover choices that sound like eminent disaster on paper actually turn out to be two of the highlights herein. Charlie Daniels’ chestnut is turned into “The Devil Went Down To Nola”, with the trumpet taking on the fiddle part and it works just like a finely tuned clock. “Holy slock Batman! Disco-era Bee Gees?” “Just a bat minute Robin, little ditty kicks hiney”. Taken as a sprightly instrumental ‘Stayin’ Alive” never lets up as it blows the dust out of your speakers.

“Back Pocket” is another tight turn instrumental with guitar and organ supplying the funk quotient this time through. I think it is an unwritten law that somewhere in the course of their career any self-respecting brass band is obligated to do “St. James Infirmary”. Their version begins as the usual dirge then after the introductory vocal morphs into a Latin beat replete with congas. “Everybody Mambo!”. Patented Cab Calloway “hi-dee-hi’s” are used to nice effect.

Without question these guys know their way around a horn. Serviceable singing and talk-singing tend to drag at times, but the horn-interplay more than makes up for any short-comings. The infectious grooves are enough to recommend this effort. “Make mine a double and easy on the vocals”.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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