The Artesian Rumble Arkestra brought the spirit of Carnival to Olympia last night when it processed through 11 downtown bars for its second annual pub crawl.
News Flash- The band is going to rumble for Fat Tuesday 2016 on February 9
We caught up with the band at McCoys and in a scene sort of reminiscent from the first episode of Treme when Rebirth Brass Band gathered at a bar prior to a parade, we watched the band regroup and prepare for its assault on Fourth Avenue. But first, they played Iko, Iko.
Over the next two hours, they worked their way through Obsidian, Eastside Tavern, Le Voyeur, The Clipper, 4th Ave Tavern, and Dillinger’s. Then they turned right toward Budd Bay on Capitol and stopped at the Brotherhood before finishing up at Rhythm and Rye. Prior to us hooking up with them, the band had serenaded drinkers at the Fish Tale Brew Pub and Cryptatropa.
The music was fun and so was the notion of mixing it up. I enjoyed watching the different reactions of patrons as a full blown brass and percussion band entered their space. Not to mention the colorful dancing of Steve Passero. The pool players at 4th Ave whose games were temporarily interrupted took it in stride and danced while the computer-engrossed patrons of Obsidian took a couple of songs to get into the mood. The folks at Clipper didn’t want the band to leave. Too bad we don’t allow “go cups” in Olympia like New Orleans does.
It was a prime opportunity to once again experience the liberating effect of music, which affords us the opportunity to lift ourselves out of the moment. The history of New Orleans is very much entwined with music and its ability to nudge us out of our ruts. When Jazz and Rock n’ Roll emerged, traditional power structures were unnerved, partly because the music brought together people of all colors to dance and sing but also because the music’s message was empowering to those who were not expected to have that power.
I look at the wonderful folks who comprise the Artesian Rumble Arkestra and I see people who are liberated by their music and the instruments they play. How cool for them (and those in their path last night) to use Fat Tuesday as an excuse to share that love with others.
I know this blog and my show is about New Orleans music but I also live in Olympia where I’m lucky enough to get in the path of Artesian Rumble Arkestra.
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