THE TRUCK STOPS HERE: Tuba Skinny keepin’ it New Orleans-style.
THE TRUCK STOPS HERE: Tuba Skinny keepin’ it New Orleans-style.

New Orleans jazz/blues act Tuba Skinny coming to Mullum

NEW Orleans ensemble Tuba Skinny will return to Australia next month for their fourth tour, bringing back their distinctive old time blues, ragtime, and traditional jazz revivals of long lost songs and sounds to Mullumbimby.

Washboard player Robin Rapuzzi said they can't wait for the tour down under.

"It will be good to see some friendly, familiar faces," he said.

"It's so beautiful in Mullumbimby, I hope we can play the festival (Mullum Music Fest) there soon.

"Everyone was so nice to us last time we were in Mullumbimby."

>>Tuba Skinny plays Mullumbimby Civic Hall, Mullumbimby, Friday, October 3. Tickets: mullummusic.com

The band recently released their album, Owl Call Blues, which was recorded in a very grassroots fashion - in a living room with the help of some friends.

"It was a lot of fun to make," he said, despite the fact that a few of them, including their singer, had a cold during the recording time.

"It's the one album that I'm most proud of, and I think that's how everyone feels.

"The instruments came out really clean and crisp, but also shabby enough, to sound like an old album.

"And the art on the album is so beautiful."

He said his favourite tune would have to be Willie the Weeper, which was originally by Louie Armstrong.

"It's got a lovely guitar breakdown. I love the instrumentals."

A washboard player, Rapuzzi picked up the instrument by chance - when he first moved to New Orleans, he lived with a jug band and one day their washboard player was sick so he filled in for him.

For a musician who was used to playing punk rock and rock'n'roll, it was a different experience for him, but had a longstanding effect.

"It just kind of stuck with me," Rapuzzi laughed.

"It's a fun instrument. It can be kind of easy, but with jazz, it can be played so many different ways - there are so many different styles. It's always a different character."

Living in such a musical city - New Orleans - has definitely shaped the band, he said.

"There's so much music in New Orleans, you can't walk outside of your house without hearing a note or a drum being rapped," he said.

The older residents of New Orleans pass on their skills and knowledge to the younger generations, and the cycle continues, he explained.



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