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Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog

New Orleans style Tubaluba returns Aug. 21; mile marker 6 reunion show Aug. 23

By Jim Drake Hood River News

I probably don’t need to say this, but music has been crazy-good this summer. Last week, for example, was a whirlwind. Monday, I went to an acoustic house concert at the Fox house featuring Greg Rawlins. Thursday, Quarterflash played in Jackson Park. On Friday, I experienced the closest thing ever, for me, to an acutal AC/DC concert, at Columbia Gorge Hotel. And then, the same night, I stopped in to hear Tony Furtado’s band down at CEBU.

It’s so busy, one is bound to have schedule conflicts. So, for instance, if you missed the second-line New Orleans stylings of Tubaluba at Springhouse a few weeks ago, (like I did) there’s another chance coming up on Friday at River City.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Jim, what about Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. What did you do then?

Well, if you must know, Tuesday was, that’s right, Band Practice Night. Ah, yes, there’s nothing like a scheduled gig to put a band into Band Practice Night mode, and I’m happy to say that mile marker 6 is part of the festivities at Double Mountain on Sunday, Aug. 23. The Greenneck Daredevils kick things off at noon, we’re on at 2 p.m., and then it’s high-energy stringband Left Coast Country. Hope to see you there, and please stop by and say hi.

Wednesday? You gotta change the strings sometime, right?

Interview with Tubaluba

You guys were just at Springhouse Cellar in Hood River a few weeks ago, how was that experience?

Oh man, the Springhouse Cellars gig was such an absolute blast! A completely stunning setting and a warm, fun-loving crowd. I think everyone, venue, band, audience, had a similar experience of, "this should be cool... this is really great... that was awesome!" Just a really memorable show for us. Also, it was really helpful, in June, to be able to turn around and say, we'll see you at River City in August! We'll just lather that party right up again.

Describe the proper attire/frame of mind necessary to attend a Tubaluba show.

I think the important thing to remember is that we are, essentially, a New Orleans band from Seattle.
As we've evolved musically, we have started to bring in a wider range of influences, including a lot of what's going on in the Northwest right now - lots of funk and more than a little bit of rock n roll. So, we're not exactly purely New Orleans, though that is still a big part of the show. What hasn't changed is the spirit. New Orleans is a town that knows how to celebrate. Ain't nothin but a party, as the song goes.

We are a good time band. Come ready to sing, dance, shout, whoop, laugh, let off some steam...and dress accordingly.

I get the “Tuba” reference, but what exactly is “Luba”?

We named ourselves after a Rebirth Brass Band tune that is tribute to a tuba player down there named Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen. I think of him as the godfather of brass band tuba/sousaphone. He was called Tuba Fats for so many years that eventually, they had a second nickname for him, Tubaluba.

He sort of embodied all everything you think of when you think of New Orleans: fun, affable, a lover of life, a stunning musician. Its kind of a fun word to say too... The one down side to the name is that it requires we always have a tuba player. Which, in this part of the world, is not the easiest thing to ensure.

We have definitely been fortunate to have had a number of really great tuba players in the band over the years. But, a few years ago, when we were... in between... tuba players, my mother gave me a sousaphone for Christmas with a note that said, "That'll teach you to name a band after an instrument that you don't play. Get practicing!" Still can't make heads nor tails of that thing, but luckily, we've got a guy...

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