Video: Shout Bands

One really interesting corner of our world of brass playing in the United States are shout bands. Recently I was talking with Arizona State tuba/euphonium professor Sam Pilafian and he mentioned the instrumentation of one of our pep band groups the “Dixie Sliders.” I said that it sounded like it was a shout band. He then asked how I knew about shout bands. I have actually known about them for years. They play music that we would think of as being jazz but it is better to think of it as a type of call and response praise music that comes from the traditions of the United House of Prayer for All People in the southeastern United States. This short video of a street performance by the Madison Livelystones gives you a good sense of it; this is trombone praise that will get your toe tapping!

There was an extended article published on the topic of shout bands in the 2003 issue of the Historic Brass Society Journal, and some good general information is to be found online here. There are quite a number of videos on YouTube of these groups from different congregations of the United House of Prayer for all People, and fairly universally they have roughly seven trombones (featuring a “preacher” trombone in the lead), baritone, Sousaphone, drum set, and other percussion.

This recording, “Saints Paradise: Trombone Shout Bands from the United House of Prayer” on Smithsonian Folkways looks like a great collection if you want to hear more of this great brass playing.

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