Fresh off winning "Best Jam/Funk Group" in the 2011 Riverfront Times Music Awards, the Funky Butt Brass Band is set to celebrate the release of its second full-length at 10:00 p.m. this Friday, July 15 at the Broadway Oyster Bar.
Titled You Can Trust The Funky Butt Brass Band, the disc features a dozen tracks, including six originals, mostly written and arranged collectively. "I think this record shows some growth, particularly in the songwriting," said FBBB guitarist and vocalist Tim Halpin in an email interview. "On Cut The Body Loose, our debut 2009 release, we only had two originals...I think we've matured a bit as players and as a band, so this CD is a little looser, maybe a little more fun, than the first." Listen to the album's lead track, "Do That Thang," below.
Do That Thang by Funky Butt Brass Band
"Most of the original tunes tend to have the New Orleans 'street beat' feel. 'Do That Thang' certainly does," said Halpin. "'South Broadway Stumble' was inspired by too many late nights watching drunk people stagger out of the Broadway Oyster Bar." Other original tunes include "Fill My Belly," "Back Pocket," "The Devil's Taxi" and "Biscuit," which Halpin describes as "a bit of an anomaly, sort of a back porch song with rubboard instead of drums and some major guitar vibrato, a slow ballad about trying to be a better person against tough odds."
The CD's cover tunes include Oliver Sain's "St. Louis Breakdown"; "A Certain Girl," written by Allan Toussaint under the pen name Naomi Neville; "Door Poppin'" by New Orleans singer John Boutté (who sings the theme for HBO's Treme); and the New Orleans standard "St James Infirmary." "And then we chose a couple of classic rock/pop tunes and gave them a brass band twist -- the Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive' and Charlie Daniels' 'Devil Went Down To Georgia,' said Halpin. "Except this time the Devil goes to New Orleans and challenges a trumpet player for his soul."
Guest musicians Dave Grelle (The Feed, Hip Grease) and Tom Martin (Gumbohead) provided keyboard parts for the CD, which was recorded May 14 & 15 at Jettison Studios in New Athens, IL. Dan Mehrmann did the engineering and mixing, with the FBBB serving as their own producers. Some keyboard overdubs were added at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis, and mastering was done by Brad Sarno of Blue Jade Audio Mastering. All the tracks from You Can Trust The Funky Butt Brass Band can be heard streaming for free via the band's website.