Jams, Funk, and Brass.
The No BS! Brass Band — a 12-member, all-horn ensemble — demonstrates all three, bringing their Richmond sound to the masses with tunes that pay homage to Charles Mingus, Michael Jackson among others.
The man behind the behind the scenes as manager, and up front as band leader, is Reggie Pace. He says the Virginia band is unlike any other simply because they don't play traditional New Orleans brass music and most importantly, because they write their own songs.
This fall the band toured along the East Coast promoting their new album "Brass Knuckles." The LP is a direct response and reaction to the pervasive police brutality that has plagued minority communities.
The album art pays homage to Baltimore with an impressionistic painting of the protests that followed the death of Freddie Gray. This image was chosen because, as Reggie says, "That image was a big catalyst in the police brutality conversation in this country. The media barely covered the murders that were happening but the petty destruction was on every channel."
"[The band] stands together and…in solidarity with people who try to bring peace and love to this planet and that's a part of what we do and we're not afraid to say that," said Pace. "It's facts like-- people are being murdered. They just are. But those murders are concrete. And as humans, we can do better than that. We can do better than an epidemic of murders from people who are supposed to protect us and the laws that are [supposed to be] for all the people [are] not applying to certain individuals."
The group thought it was imperative to address this topic and express how they are feeling. They aren't trying to be radicals or extremists. They just want to others to use their record to remain positive, in light of traumatic, tragic events and as a conversation starter. One of Pace's favorite songs on the album is inspired by a late night heated, passionate conversation he had with friends about police violence.
"3 AM Bounce is a song that I wrote based off of the feeling of when late night, you're hanging out with your friends and you're really getting to a deep conversation about tough stuff, personal things, political things, things that make you upset because everyone seems like they're really smart at 3 a.m. We're all super smart and know exactly what we're talking about it and feel so passionately," said the trombonist. "The music is all about let's just forget about all that and let's just hang out together and have fun."
No BS! Brass Band will release their sixth album "Brass Knuckles" Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.