© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

King Cabbage Brass Band brings New Orleans-style brass band music to Oklahoma

Ways To Subscribe
King Cabbage Brass Band
Phil Clarkin
King Cabbage Brass Band

This is Songwriters & Tour Riders, a music podcast from KOSU hosted by Matthew Viriyapah.

Tulsa's King Cabbage Brass Band is bringing a taste of the Mardi Gras iconic sound to Oklahoma.

They released their self-titled album last October and are playing with acclaimed New Orleans outfit, the Soul Rebels, on Thursday, Feb. 1 at Beer City Music Hall in Oklahoma City.

In this episode, hear founder Gregory Fallis talk about the culture of Mardi Gras and New Orleans brass band music, and starting his own brass band in Tulsa.

On starting a New Orleans-style brass band in Tulsa

It takes like studying and humility and like also the patience to educate your band members, because I share the stage with some very, very talented individuals, but most of them have never played in this kind of brass band before.

So we spent a lot of time playing Rebirth Brass Band and New Orleans street standards and memorizing them and listening to them and really focusing on honoring that for the first year that we were in existence. That was a big deal.

And now we're kind of like finding our own sound, and it's kind of like we have more freedom to do our own songs and to take chances and follow our own ears.

There was definitely a process of educating not only like my band members, but also educating our audience. So like, what's a second line? Or, I don't know, just what's a brass band. We were getting called a horn band a lot.

Once people kind of figured it out, it's been really great.

It's something like I can feel when we show up to a new venue like these people really don't know what to expect. And I don't say that in like, a cocky way, but just that we're definitely coming to party, and people think they're going to go see, like a jazz band.

It's always cool to see a crowd come in and not know really what to expect and then just be like, partying and super happy by the end of the night and putting smiles on people's faces like, that's a really cool feeling. And I try to acknowledge, like Rebirth Brass Band, and where this music came from.

We definitely sound different than pretty much any brass band I've heard, and so that's that's cool to me. And just continuing to like, refine that and make that better is what I'm excited about for the next project. But it's just it's feel good music, like that's our mission. At the end of the day, and I was talking about this with Nicholas [Foster, drummer and songwriter], I don't want to try to write a brass band song. I want to just write a song that I hear and that I feel, and I like. But, when you're in a brass band, you have to party. I mean, that's kind of our mission is to bring people together to spread joy and to make people smile and dance.

Like "Kings & Queens," for example. It's a pretty sad song about like the end of a four-year relationship, but it sounds like a party, and it still sounds like something that can uplift you and maybe take the situation that you're in and put a different spin on it so that it feels good.

And so that's kind of like our vibe and our mission. And [Nicholas] was like, yeah, it's kind of like, you have to choose what party you're going to have. You're going to have a breakup party. You're going to have, uh, a dance party. You're going to have a love song party. But everything kind of revolves around that main function or mission statement of the band. Let's have a good time.

On Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is basically like a music festival. I mean, they have battles and high school bands that are just constantly running. There's nothing like being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

But for us, I mean, it's about getting the lead out, having a good time partying. It's not just a celebration just to get loaded and eat a bunch. It is a celebration with a purpose to remember what's important in life, who is important in life, what kind of person you want to be — to not forget that.

Because after Mardi Gras, then comes Lent, and you're supposed to give something up, and you're supposed to be more focused. And that's kind of the reason for the season. And I think for as crazy as Mardi Gras can get, it's really important to remember that.

We're happy to try to make Mardi Gras more of a thing here in Oklahoma and carry on that tradition.

Music featured in this episode:

  1. King Cabbage Brass Band - Lapdance
  2. King Cabbage Brass Band - I Try
  3. Rebirth Brass Band - Casanova
  4. King Cabbage Brass Band - Stress Test
  5. King Cabbage Brass Band - What's the Use
  6. King Cabbage Brass Band - Kings & Queens
  7. King Cabbage Brass Band - F & P
  8. Dan Reeder - Here in the Kitchen
  9. King Cabbage Brass Band - Put Your Right Foot Forward
  10. King Cabbage Brass Band - Never Gonna Give You Up
  11. The Turtles - Happy Together
  12. The Soul Rebels - Down For My City
  13. King Cabbage Brass Band - Blackberry Brandy

Subscribe to the Songwriters & Tour Riders podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content