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StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Bonerama puts low brass on top


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This week, StLJN's video spotlight shines on Bonerama, who will be back in St. Louis to perform on Saturday, December 16 at The Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy.

The New Orleans-based band puts the low brass on top, thanks to a three-trombone front line plus a sousaphone standing in for electric bass. Formed in 1998 by trombonists Mark Mullins and Craig Klein, both veterans of Harry Connick Jr.'s big band, they've forged a distinctive sound that incorporates their hometown musical traditions into funky yet hard-rocking covers of songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, using trombones to deliver the heavy riffs originally played by fuzzed-out guitars.

Bonerama tours frequently outside their hometown, and have been coming to St. Louis at least once a year since the late 2000s, playing several different venues including the Broadway Oyster Bar and the Old Rock House. Most recently, since their last visit here in early 2016, they signed with the New Orleans-based Basin Street Records and in October released Hot Like Fire, their first album for the label.

If you haven't been able to catch one of their previous shows here, you can sample their sound and get an idea of what to expect from their live show via today's collection of videos, starting up above with “Swamped In," recorded in May 2016 at Generations Hall in New Orleans for the local TV program New Orleans Live.

After the jump, you can see a video of “Mr. Okra," Bonerama's tribute to a beloved local New Orleans character/vegetable vendor, that was recorded for the same program.

That's followed by two clips shot in April 2016 at the CrawDebauchery Food & Music Festival in Pompano Beach, FL, namely Bonerama's storied “Led Zeppelin Medley: In My Time Of Dying~Black Dog~Good Times Bad Times" and a cover of Radiohead's “Paranoid Android."

Lastly, if you're ready for more after that, you can see videos of two complete Bonerama shows, recorded in February of this year at Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA (near Philadelphia) and in September at the Blues, Views and BBQ Festival in Westport, CT.

For more about Bonerama and Hot Like Fire, check out the two short interview features about them published in October by Offbeat magazine and

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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