Before my title makes anyone flinch, permit to explain the context. The Reynolds Brothers took the stand at Dixieland Monterey 2012 as the ordinarily brilliant quartet: John (guitar, vocal, whistling); Ralf (washboard); Katie Cavera (string bass, vocal); Marc Caparone (cornet). That would have been enough sweetly incendiary music for anyone.
But soon they were joined by Howard Miyata (double-bell euphonium) and Bryan Shaw (cornet). Knowing a good thing when they heard it, Flip Oakes (trumpet); Jerry Krahn (guitar) joined in. If you count up the brass players, they certainly outnumbered the rhythm section. At one point, Ralf looked around and said (approximately), “We’re a horny band!” The crowd approved the sentiments and the evidence was visible. After the session was over, I went over to the original RB, who were relaxing . . . and asked, most politely, “Would you mind if I used WAHB as the blog title?” surveying all four faces. Major grinning resulted, and a unanimous Yes.
So there you have it. With all that brass tubing and valve oil . . . I think my title is mild in comparison to more expansive ones that could have been.
Here’s the extravagant music!
The HB band began with the Claude Hopkins – Alex Hill anthem of love, I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU. Even a moribund sound system can’t stop this band:
Ready to launch, everyone? Here’s the 1928 DIGA DIGA DOO. Or KRAZY KAPERS if you like:
Now for some moralizing in swing — if you do naughty things, there will be divine retribution. Or THERE’S GONNA BE THE DEVIL TO PAY (whose opening phrase looks forward two or three years to I HOPE GABRIEL LIKES MY MUSIC, doesn’t it?):
Attentive viewers will have noticed that trumpeter Flip Oakes [bearing his Wild Thing horn] and guitarist Jerry Krahn were indeed ready to launch at the end of that number (did they hear the sermon and decide to join in?) — Flip is seen adjusting his horn (understandably) but Jerry is heroically strumming away on ground level — a man with a mission! Ralf directs the assembled masses into another kind of moral injunction — MAMA, DON’T GIVE ALL THE LARD AWAY — where the precious stuff is more than slightly metaphorical:
It was indeed a logical leap to Fats Waller’s FAT AND GREASY — which swings along because of or in spite of its rather revolting lyrics. “I’m going in!” assures Ralf. And Jerry Krahn slides home:
After all that jocular abuse of the imaginary plus-sized character, it’s a relief to have our Katie warble this pretty late-Twenties tune about the restorative benefits of astronomy and romance, GET OUT AND GET UNDER THE MOON, which begins with her vocal and then Bryan takes a very pretty solo (neither fat nor greasy):
And finally — HIGH SOCIETY (although it’s just the trio) which seems like a delirious meeting of Alphonse Picou and Rafael Mendez:
What a band, what a band!
May your happiness increase.