Monday, 31 August 2009

Hot 8 Brass Band

Founded by Bennie Pete (tuba player) Jerome "Bay Bay" Jones (trombone) and Harry “Swamp Thang” Cook (bass drum) in 1995 from two earlier bands, The Looney Tunes Brass Band and The High Steppers Brass Band, their music is described by Bennie Pete “Hot 8 music is feel good music…music with a message. It’s life music.”

Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans, Louisiana, United States and they cut their musical mustard in traditional second line parades in the streets of their home town. The line up usually will have eight or nine players, bringing the passion and noise via trombones, saxophones, trumpets, snare and bass drums, all held together by the earth rumbling tuba baselines of band leader Bennie Pete. Their music was used in features by CNN, Nightline and The New York Times in media coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and was used in Spike Lee’s documentary of this disaster “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” (highly recommended viewing b.t.w)

They are currently signed to the U.K's Tru Thoughts label, having previously been signed to Louisiana Red Hot label, which was wiped out by the hurricane. Interest in the band grew over in the U.K in 2007 onwards with features on the BBC's The Culture Show , a session recorded for Gilles Peterson’s show on BBC Radio 1 and a couple of tracks with recorded with Basement Jaxx; their music has also featured on a Volkswagen advert. On a personal note, whenever this track comes round on my mp3 player, it's never skipped and quite often the repeat button is pressed, "feel good music" for sure!

Hot 8 Brass Band - Sexual Healing cover of the Marvin Gaye classic - Live in Paris 2008 buy it here

Monday, 24 August 2009

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

My field reporter at the annual Womad Music Festival held in Reading U.K was asked who made the biggest impression on the crowd, she reckoned that the stand out performance of the day was from these guys - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, from the south side of Chicago. Judging by the youtube footage, I have to concur, that this is top drawer stuff full of dazzling tight grooves, that make me want to simultaneously chillax to the bone, yet fug like an eight legged groove machine.

This song was originally released as a single in 2007 and features on their self-titled May 2009 album, out via Honest Jon's. This is Damon Albarn's independent record label (parent distribution company Parlophone) Buy the vinyl here or buy the mp3s here.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
- War

Thursday, 6 August 2009

First Aid Kit - Summer Sessions Covers

The immensely talented Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, who go under the moniker of First Aid Kit, are doing a series of cover versions this summer and have been inviting suggestions, via their website for appropriate songs to tackle. The teenage popstrels enchanted us last year with a delightful cover of Fleet Foxes Tiger Mountain Peasant Song and they have a mini album out on Rabid Records called 'Drunken Trees' So far, they have covered Walk The Line by Johnny Cash and Buffy Sainte Marie's Universal Soldier, if you have any inspired suggestion for their next effort, contact them via their website as shown below.

First Aid Kit are going to be on tour in the U.K with another Scratchy favourite Fanfarlo in September and October, in what should turn out to be one of the gigs of the year, so get those tickets A.S.A.P

I am a simple man so I sing a simple song
never been so much in love
and never hurt so bad at the same time.
I am a simple man
and I play a simple tune
I wish that I could see you once again
across the room like the first time.
I just want to hold you
I don't want to hold you down
I hear what you're saying
and you're spinning my head around
and I can't make it alone.
The ending of the tale
is the singing of the song
make me proud to be your man
only you can make me strong
like the last time.
I just want to hold you
I don't want to hold you down
I hear what you're saying
and you're spinning my head around
and I can't make it alone.

First Aid Kit - Simple Man - The original version was written and performed by Graham Nash from his 1971 solo album 'Songs For Beginners' which was released as the B side of the single 'Chicago' The song featured Rita Coolidge on backing vocals and apparently was penned on the afternoon of the Nash's break up with his then girlfriend Joni Mitchell.

16/08/09 Leicester England Summer Sundae
28/08/09 Hamburg Germany Kampnagel Sommer Stage
29/08/09 Marburg Germany
30/08/09 Wiesbaden Germany Folklore im Garten Festival
12/09/09 End Of The Road Festival Dorset England
28/09/09 Manchester Deaf Institute England w/Fanfarlo
29/09/09 York England Fibbers w/ Fanfarlo
30/09/09 Glasgow Scotland ABC2 w/ Fanfarlo
02/10/09 Middlesbrough England Westgarth w/ Fanfarlo.
03/10/09 Nottingham England Bodega w/ Fanfarlo
05/10/09 Oxford England Jechico Tavern w/ Fanfarlo
06/10/09 London England Bush Hall
07/10/09 Brighton England Hanbury Ballroom
08/10/09 Cardiff Wales CLWB IFOR Bach
09/10/09 Leeds England Brudenell Social Club