Stumblebums
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Stumblebums

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Blues Punk

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Music

Press


"Misfits and Louis Armstrong"

"Perhaps the only jazz outfit equally in debt to the Misfits and Louis Armstrong" - L Magazine


"Rousing Anthems"

"Rousing Anthems" - MTV News


"Whiskey Soaked"

"The Stumblebum Brass Band's gritty, whiskey-soaked songs like 'Smokin' and Drinkin' rile up guests with Mardi Gras verve." - New York Magazine - New York Magazine


"Punk Aesthetics"

The "lo-fi energy of a marching band and the punk aesthetics of the Lower East Side" - - Culturebot.org


"Rumbling-Raunch-Jazz"

"As of late, this hypnotic rumbling-raunch-jazz trio has been turning up all over the city in a nearly Mephistophelean manner. They appear from nowhere, breath smoke and fire from trumpet and tuba, pound on their drum whilst parading through the crowd (or wedding party--which is how I first saw them), and then abruptly disappear into the New York night. Are they banshees? wraiths? demons? Do they possess some uncanny ability to locate a lull in frivolity and then dispel it with ungodly powers?" - The Cad


"Kicking Brass and Making a Name"


To see the article online + video:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/11222008/entertainment/music/kicking_brass_and_making_a_name_140139.htm

"YOU may not know the Stumblebum Brass Band by name, but if you live in New York City and keep a window open, you've probably heard their music. And word on the street is that they're among the loudest and more interesting things happening in the city right now.

"It's an original sound," says Ben, a 50-something driver who'd just found himself in the wake of an impromptu upper Second Avenue 'Bums tour that passed as quickly as it had come. "If I love it, everyone's going to like it."

As "original" as the Stumblebums' jazz-punk sound itself is its marching-band presentation. When they're not playing Rodeo Bar, where they recently began a Sunday residency, the trio of Jesse Wildcard (tuba), Jonathan Levy (drums) and Josh "Smidge" Malone (vocals/bullhorn/trumpet) hone their skills by crashing unsuspecting bars, crowded subway cars and busy sidewalks citywide. Throw Tom Waits, the Clash and the Marsalis family into a blender, keep the blender running, and you get the idea.

"I love to see them coming," says Brady's bartender Frank Campanelli, whose Upper East Side crowd tripled when the 'Bums crossed the street to play their raucous cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Unfortunately, Campanelli doesn't speak for all bar denizens.

"We've definitely had people get pissed off," says Stumblebum Wildcard, admitting they're chased away by bar patrons or policemen "all the time."

Evan True, who frequently books the 'Bums at the Lower East Side's Living Theatre, welcomes what he calls the band's "friendly disruptions."

It doesn't hurt that the 'Bums often enter with a street audience already in tow.

"They maybe underestimate how into it people are," says True, calling the 'Bums "revolutionary."

"It gets people out onto the street where they get to know their neighbors."

Novelty aside, the 'Bums have something more important going for them: They're very good.

"I think they're really, really tight. They have the disharmony of good punk and they have that old New Orleans street jazz," says True. "They're not angry, just disruptive. Even the thing with David Hasselhoff . . . it's with a grin."

Yes, further establishing that the 'Bums are good, The Hoff hates them. In July, the band appeared on Hasselhoff's TV series "America's Got Talent," where they found a good segment of America's got no taste.

"We finally get onto the stage in front of the audience, and David Hasselhoff literally buzzes us off within one second of playing. And the crowd became the Roman Colosseum or something. I walked offstage [figuring] this just isn't for us; let's go home."

Deciding their host owed them at least a listen, the 'Bums returned to hassle the Hoff.

"I went back out and commented on David Hasselhoff's quick attention span," says Wildcard, who also told Hasselhoff that he'd at least given "Baywatch" a try.

The 'Bums were "discovered" by that show's producers during a residency at The Box, which Wildcard recalls as "some kind of private semi-exclusive Broadway extravaganza." The Box's strict modus operandi didn't quite suit the 'Bums, either.

"Simon Hammerstein (the club's owner) told me, 'We're not in the business of educating people, we're in the business of entertaining them,' " says Wildcard. And therein lies the rub. How does one package an organically crafted product that's so hard to label?

Wildcard's still optimistic his band's sound might yet be appreciated in its day. "It's a different market now than the '60s, '70s, and '80s when it was all about 'the record deal,' " Wildcard reasons. "There are other avenues to make us commercially viable, even if we don't fit into the niches of being jazz and rock." Until then, the world is their stage."
- New York Post


"Fired Up"

This band is fired up! - Fox News


Discography

Stumblebum Brass Band - 2009
"Jazz Ain't Dead" - 2008
"We Don't Play for Pennies" - 2006

Photos

Bio

The Stumblebums is an incendiary force on the New York City music scene. Even though the band has deep respect and admiration for the art of both Louis Armstrong and Nirvana; the Stumblebums reject nostalgia in favor of riotous spontaneity.

This is evidenced by the rapid-fire yet guttural vocalizations of frontman Smidge Malone who is also a ferocious trumpet player. His horn lines convey the entire canvas of human emotion which leaves audiences everywhere amazed. The basslines are dutifully carried out by Ron Caswell whose tuba playing displays a razor sharp acurracy as well as a playful raunchiness. The Stumblebums final but in some ways most important member is the erstwhile drummer Jonny Ballz whose service is indispensable due to his charming rambunctiousness.

The Stumblebums has performed on many stages including the Bowery Ballroom, The Box, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Mercury Lounge, World Cafe, Hiro Ballroom, Hammerstein Ballroom, have toured the East Coast, Alaska and are about to embark on their first tour of Europe.