Can't Be Faded
Twenty Years in the New Orleans Brass Band Game
A collaborative blast of history and inspiration from top-of-the-line musicians
The Stooges Brass Band always had big dreams. From playing in the streets of New Orleans in the mid-1990s to playing stages the world over, they have held fast to their goal of raising brass band music and musicians to new heights—professionally and musically. In the intervening years, the band’s members have become family, courted controversy, and trained a new generation of musicians, becoming one of the city’s top brass bands along the way. Two decades after their founding, they have decided to tell their story.
Can’t Be Faded: Twenty Years in the New Orleans Brass Band Game is a collaboration between musician and ethnomusicologist Kyle DeCoste and more than a dozen members of the Stooges Brass Band, past and present. It is the culmination of five years of interviews, research, and writing. Told with humor and candor, it’s as much a personal account of the Stooges’ careers as it is a story of the city’s musicians and, even more generally, a coming-of-age tale about black men in the United States at the turn of the twenty-first century.
DeCoste and the band members take readers into the barrooms, practice rooms, studios, tour vans, and streets where the music is made and brotherhoods are shaped and strengthened. Comprised of lively firsthand accounts and honest dialogue, Can’t Be Faded is a dynamic approach to collaborative research that offers a sensitive portrait of the humans behind the horns.
Comprised of lively firsthand accounts and honest dialogue, Can't Be Faded is a dynamic approach to collaborative research that offers a sensitive portrait of the humans behind the horns.- New Books Network
Kyle DeCoste’s work is a welcome and vital contribution not only to the scholarship of twentieth- and twenty-first-century improvisational Black American Music of New Orleans, but to the story of New Orleans culture and African American life. From the Stooges Brass Band members’ accounts of the joy of the “Street Kings” stage competition, to the pain of behind-the-scenes competition in the brass band community, to the tragedy of violence that hits too close to home, Can’t Be Faded is a stellar document of musical life, community, and brotherhood. It is ethnomusicological, anthropological, and soulful, all at the same time.- Melissa A. Weber, host of WWOZ’s Soul Power with Soul Sister and curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive