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Byron Shire
July 4, 2022

Chewing the Fat with Tuba Skinny

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Heading here from New Orleans, Tuba Skinny bring the big brass dirty street sound to Coorabell Hall on Saturday, alongside local favourites Potato Potato.

Welcome back to Australia! What is the band looking forward to on this visit?

We’re looking forward to seeing our old fans, making new ones and seeing more of the land. Looking forward to driving the Great Ocean Road… We’re looking forward to recording in Tasmania.

Can you tell us a little about how Tuba Skinny came about?

We met because we were all interested in playing early music on acoustic instruments out on the street… and that’s how we met! Out on the Streets in New Orleans. The band formed spontaneously.

The group look like such an intriguing bunch, describe each of the members in a word?

• Robin: The Writer
• Todd: The Animal.
• Barnabus: The Dog
• Ryan: The Enigma
• Erika: The Bull
• Westen: The Vaudevillian
• Jon: The Grampa
• Shay: The Maestro

New Orleans Music is rich with many incredible artists and sounds. What are some of the group’s influences – and what else do you listen to?

We listen to early jazz and delta blues from the 1920s. We love jug band music and current brass band music from New Orleans.
We are influenced by the music we listen to as above and also the musicians in New Orleans.

What has been one of your strangest experiences on the road?

We run into friends all over the world. We ran into a bunch of friends in a small, small town in Mexico recently. It’s weird being at the opposite ends of the world and running into old friends.

What is behind the name TUBA SKINNY?

There was an important tuba player from New Orleans who is no longer alive called Tuba Fats. He was important in keeping music on the street legal. Todd kinda earned the nickname Tuba Skinny one year because he’s really skinny and people kept seeing him lugging a tuba around… so in a homage to Tuba Fats we named the band Tuba Skinny.

Describe some differences between American and Australian audiences and shows. 

In America, most of our fans are a bit older. We find that in Australia we’re getting a great response from younger people, which is exciting because it keeps the energy at our shows a bit more lively with all the people getting up to dance.

What has been your highlight when touring down under?

Being able to spend time in the bush. It’s really quite a different work over here… very beautiful… we got to spend some time in Tasmania and the Blue Mountains, and the bush is very different over here. We’ve never experienced anything like it and we feel lucky to be able to do so.

Name some of your favourite Australian artists/musicians.

CW Stoneking is a big hit within our band. We loved Hanggai, but they’re Chinese and we saw them in Australia. We actually play a couple of CW’s songs in our set!

What can audiences expect from your show at Coorabell Hall?

Perhaps some nudity… A lot of dancing… some jazz rags.

Saturday at Coorabell Hall. Tix www.mullummusic.com  t: 6684 6195

Tuba+Skinny-wp


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