Tim Halpin put on a marching band-style harness that held his bass drum, which he rapped with a soft mallet. Ron Sikes snapped a snare drum around his waist as the rest of the band pulled their horns from cases of every shape.
"Just a Closer Walk with Thee" proved funky, uplifting and revelrous. The St. Louis band played the classic tune with an eclectic mix of soul-imbued solos that conjured New Orleans before the on-lookers following their Sunday routines, happy to be surprised with the hot-stepping tune.
Aaron Chandler's trombone pushed warm notes into the air, while Ben Reece's saxophone complemented the song's underbelly with bright, brassy bursts. Adam Hucke's trumpet hovered atop the mix near the melody, belting with flare and spirit.
The ease at which Funky Butt Brass Band transitioned from a plugged-in, jazz-powered fantasy to a busking, old-timey swing band was impressive, but that's what these versatile musicians do. Culturally, St. Louis is certainly better for it.
Video: Jarred Gastreich for Show Me Shows
Sound: Ryan Albritton for R&R Music Labs
Writer: Will Kyle
88.1 KDHX welcomes Funky Butt Brass Band to Thursdays at the Intersection on August 9, an event co-sponsored by Grand Center, Inc. and presented by PNC Arts Alive.