Outside the Pageant after the memorial service for Chuck Berry, a brass band played “St. Louis Blues” as Berry’s coffin was lifted into the hearse. The musicians, of course, were the Funky Butt Brass Band, an ensemble that’s become, like Berry himself, an emblem of this city. Though its core sound belongs to the tradition of the New Orleans second line, its spirit is 100 percent St. Louis. The sextet is our hardest working jazz-funk fusion band, and its omnipresence at street parties, festivals, Soulard bars and classy nightclubs remains, after all these years, well worth celebrating. The sound of St. Louis just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Recommended if you like: Rebirth Brass Band, Oliver Sain, Dumpstaphunk, Kermit Ruffins