[Dixielandjazz] Rube Band

Don Ingle dingle@baldwin-net.com
Wed, 26 Jun 2002 09:29:36 -0400

Since the late1920's there has been the Scottville Clown Band in Western
Lower Michigan. They may number anything from 20 up to 50 players. Basically
a Sousa type band, but with much tongue in cheek, they can play straight or
do schtick, and play a few big band and dixieland arrangements. They have
played in festivals all over Michigan and in surrounding states and up into
Ontario. Members dress in all sorts of beat up costumes, some in drag, and
some in fright wigs and typical clown gear.
Common thread is that all members can play well, read charts, and represent
all sorts of occupations. Our Circuit judge plays clarinet, two MD's perform
in it, and we have law officers, school band directors, and a few
professional jazz musicians. A retired brig. general plays drums.
   They play about 40-50 concerts or festivals each year, rehearse over the
winter, and draw some of the largest crowds in the state when they appear.
Seven decades old and counting. Rube enough?
Don Ingle
----- Original Message -----
From: "randymillan" <randymillan@shaw.ca>
To: <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 3:44 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Rube Band

> I received a lot of good information about my rotary valve tuba and I
> thank those members who took the time to talk to me about it.
> While writing one member, I was talking to them about a concept we have
> out here called a "Rube" Band.  I was wondering if this is an
> international concept or if someone here in Canada just made it up.
> Here a Rube band is a parade and outdoor band of usually Traditional
> jazz musicians who casually march down the parade route, or around the
> festival area, no uniforms, no formation, no real arrangements.
> Everyone just chooses a song, a key and giver!  I have played in two
> Rube Bands so far.  In the southern part of the Okanagan here in BC we
> had a small group of about 10 musicians and would play at many of the
> outdoor concerts and parades in the area. I played Tenor Sax in that
> group.  It was great fun because you never knew who was going to show
> up, or what tune would be played in what key or sometimes even what
> instruments you were going to have with you.  That group actually had an
> accordian player show up and play with the group.  He played well and
> fit in quite well with the strolling part providing really nice keyboard
> riffs and stuff.
> There always seemed to be an event to go to if we wanted to.  Free of
> course.  But we often got free food and stuff.
> The other group is my present group which can have between 7 and 10 and
> is not really a "Rube" band per se but plays in the style.  I play banjo
> in this group and we mainly do parades.
> But there is a Rube Band in Kamloops BC that has about 60 members.  Not
> everyone comes to a parade.  For example at the last parade I saw them
> at, there were about 20-25 musicians walking down the parade route in
> roughly the same direction.  I have heard them a few times and they are
> very good.  I once asked one of the trumpets if they arranged their
> music and he said no, they had just played frequently enough so they
> knew which section was doing what and they would make it up from there.
> I don't know if that's true but you could tell there was a lot of
> jamming going on, and there was no paper around.
> Anyone else ever heard of this style of okum? Is this similar to the New
> Orleans groups that I've heard of?
> Randy Millan
> Dixie North Jazz Band and "Rube" Band Extraordinaire
> Vernon B.C.   ph:  250.260.7744
> web:  www.armenterprises.cjb.net
> email:  randymillan@shaw.ca
> icq # 3377917
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