Stooges bring modern New Orleans sounds to Lake Tahoe
Music is taken very seriously in New Orleans. That explains the animosity in 1996 between the marching bands at John F. Kennedy and St. Augustine high schools.
Members considered each other “enemies,” said Walter “Whoadie” Ramsey, who came up with an idea to combine the best players from each band to make an all-star group.
“That’s not cool; they’re not part of our family,” Ramsey recalled his schoolmates telling him. “I said, ‘Well, they are part of my family.’ There was a lot of intensity in those days, but it was just fun. We created something good out of bad.”
Original members of the band which became known as the Stooges Brass Band included Big Sam Williams and “De Phessah” Drew Baham, who now play in Big Sam’s Funky Nation. A younger player who later joined was Trombone Shorty.
The concept was to have the foundation of a traditional New Orleans brass band and flavor it with modern sounds of R&B, funk and hip-hop.
“You get a lot when you get the Stooges,” Ramsey said. “The Stooges is like a sonic boom. It’s energy and you don’t ever know. It’s a lot of energy. Nonstop music for an hour-and-a-half to two hours straight. I don’t even know how we do that but we do it. We are singing, dancing and playing songs that can touch your soul.”
Big Sam talked about the Stooges before the two bands played together last summer at the Crystal Bay Casino.
“You never know what they are going to come with,” Williams said. “They might come with a whole brass band setup with a bass drum, a snare drum and a sousaphone, or they might have a guitar and keyboard added to the mix. They are not your average brass band. They play a lot of originals.”
The Stooges have become a “NOLA” institution, with new generations of musicians joining the band. There are more than 20 in the group, which has become so big it can play shows in two cities on the same night.
ABOUT Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.
Tickets are on sale now for the first three concerts of the Carson Valley Inn Summer Concert Series:
June 6th - CMT Next Women featuring Tanya Tucker with Aubrie Sellers
June 26th - Charlie Daniels Band
August 19th - Trace Adkins
Click here for tickets http://bit.ly/2020CVIConcertSeries
We miss you all and can't wait to see you back in the venue enjoying some live music again, as soon as it is safe to do so! In the meantime thank you for being patient with us as we sort out upcoming shows dates. We appreciate your continuous support! 🧡