No BS Brass Band Review: (A Party In and Around The Stage)
Another local show at Clementines in Harrisonburg, Virginia. No BS Brass from Richmond, Virginia has been getting some more significant exposure on the East Coast. I decided to give them a shot while they were close and see what No BS was all about.
My friends in Judy Chops opened up and I always enjoy their style of Rockabilly-Swing. They are a staple in the local music scene and it is awesome to see them grow personally and musically. The female vocalist Molly, combined with Rev Bills raspy undertones makes this band a fun, hip shaking time. I try and see them any chance I get and support them. Check them out if you are interested in more. http://www.thejudychops.com
Clementines is a quaint little venue, filled with quirky hipster art. I attended this show alone and saw a few familiar faces but mostly just college kids that have migrated down from Northern-Virginia, living the "country life" for a few years.
I've been into horns for years and I find myself increasingly interested in the sound they produce. I figured I couldn't go wrong with a "brass band" and I am assuming the NO stands for New Orleans or just No is general, and the BS stands for bullshit so, I hoped they'd bring it.... after a lengthy set-up process, they did.
The band consisted of 11 horns and 1 drummer. They immediately came out blasting their horns into the audience, the members were from all walks of life. The band members diversity was one of the coolest parts about the group. Some of the guys set up on the floor in front the stage and they all played into the crowd taking turns on the mic for their solos.
Every member has their own personality but they are all grooving in their own way.
The trumpet players seemed to be channeling Miles Davis throughout the night but always bringing back those funky choruses, when there wasn't lyrics there was chants from all the members.
No BS covered Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean;” all horns, one drum, hitting all the lines and solos, bringing the crowd in for audience participation and ending with a rousing, “Black Dog”
Let's be realistic with 12 members their barely paying for the gas money to make it to this show. I try and support groups like this and after hearing
“3am bounce”a gritty hardcore song off their new album, I liked it enough to buy their cd, which can be found here. http://www.nobsbrass.com/ and check out this video from NPR Tiny Desk Concerts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEjNggZsWow
In my opinion, the trombone is one of the most underrated instruments of all time and NO BS makes up for it with 5 of them.
One of the trombone player Lit up the mic with some crazy rap; I'm not sure what he was talking about but he was the last one you would expect to be rapping on stage. He was a middle-aged white man with style and swag, I think thats the word?
There nothing like an 11 horn drop no mics needed and a plunger in the horn hole. I'm not a rap guy but I can take this medium a little more especially when it’s mixed with covers like: “Everybody Wants to Rule The World,” “Take on Me,” and even “Thriller.”
With No BS Brass band it's surely a party in and around the stage. I hope to see them again soon and I think we will all be hearing something from this band.
Still Feeling Those Horn Blasts,
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.