The Funky Butt Brass Band, St. Louis' finest purveyors of second-line struttin', is about to unleash its annual holiday throwdown on Saturday night at Off Broadway. Now in its third year, the Holiday Brasstravaganza gives the six-piece a chance to thoroughly funkify seasonal tunes. This year, show-goers will be given a special Christmas present: the new seven-song EP Shiny Christmas Balls, which featuress "Crazy Sleigh," the band's rewrite of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train." Peep that business below.
We caught up with the band members over email to learn about Saturday's bachanal. Tickets to the show are $12 and are available here.
Christian Schaeffer: This is your third year of your annual Christmas Brasstravaganza. What about Christmas music catches your collective ears and makes you want to give it the FBBB treatment?
Aaron Chandler (trombone/vocals): First off, Christmas music is something that most people enjoy and we like playing music that we know fans will dig. We also like to surprise people, musically. Christmas tunes leave plenty of room for us to do some voodoo, ya know? I also think that we initially started these Holiday shows as an effort to grow and stretch ourselves as musicians, performers, and as a working band. We like to challenge ourselves...It's almost become a game of let's see how much we can do.
Tim Halpin (guitar/vocals): Well, we're givers, that's probably the main thing. We're also big fans of Brave Combo (who are in town on Friday night) and their annual Christmas show, so we thought we could put something together in our style and really have a lot of fun with it.
The title of your new holiday EP Shiny Christmas Balls suggests that the band has a slightly skewed take on the seasonal music. What's the line between honoring the spirit of the season and completely funking it up?
TH: There is no line. Just listen to Rufus Thomas's "I'll Be Your Santa Baby" or Albert King's "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" or any of James Brown's Christmas tracks. It's wide open -- you can get funky with it, but the holiday spirit remains intact.
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