is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Honk If You Love MMMB!

Heather Auman doesn't
like the limelight -- but wow,
the limelight loves her! 
What's NOT to love?
MMMB - March Madness Marching Band - is Lexington's own group of concert-givers, an eclectic collection of some of the area's most creative music-raisers and parade participators.  In fact, if I go to a parade in downtown, the main reason I'm heading out in the July 4th heat or winter cold is to see MMMB.  They are unpredictable. They are dedicated.  They're enthusiastic...and there's not one member that doesn't do a lot more for our community than bring a musical smile to your face.

One of the members is  a lady I met while writing a story a few years ago about hashers (folks who run and shout and drink beer...not necessarily in that order).  Hashers are found worldwide, and Heather is one of their best ambassadors.  She'll travel to another part of the Globe to take part in a hash; and what is even more adorable is that she takes her place as the one and only bass drummer in MMMB and sets the pulse for the band, officially led by Lori Houlihan, another quite adorable person herself. [Note: there is another bass drummer, the host of WRFL's Trivial Thursdays, marketing advertising techno-master Mick Jeffries.   I just like that line from Seventy-Six Trombones from The Music Man ;]  

Gosh, I just remembered, I wrote about Lori, too, once, when she and husband Hap were featured as Ace Weekly's Model Citizens.  Actually, the band's members are more or less a Who's Who of the Bluegrass arts and activisim scene, so I think I have written about a majority of them individually, when I start to look at the names associated with MMMB. 

So back to the marvelous Ms. Auman -- I want to let you know what she has to say about participating in this all-star musical group, and also share her request for your help in getting the MMMB on their way to another Honk! TX, an event that is sure to represent Lexington well and make another wonderful memory for those involved.  Here's what she has to say about the upcoming fundraiser, which is Saturday, February 18th at 8PM at Buster's. (The actual Honk! TX event is 23-25 March 2012. )  The guests at the fundraiser: Big Fresh, The Blueberries, The Payback! Prefab Rehab, FUMA, Pez Hed, Rakadu Gypsy Dance, Ed McClanahan, Gentleman Relish, plus a few surprise accompaniments.

Heather tells me, "We got invited to HONK! TX last year and had an absolute blast! We traveled by bus on a Thursday AM, got there Friday AM and had about three gigs per day. It was physically tiring, especially after a 16 hour bus ride, but we had a fantastic time. It was so hard to fathom that our little Lexington, KY band is performing in AUSTIN! With the musical leadership of Tripp "Big Kahuna" Bratton, we played in two parades, performed a theatrical stage set, and jammed in parking lots, basketball courts, fields, parks, and community art buildings during the weekend. We even invaded downtown Memphis with a flash mob!"

Auman has been with MMMB from the very first practice in October 2008. It was by word of mouth from Chris Sullivan of Big Maracas saying that there was a community band being formed as an entry for the Lexington's Christmas Parade in 2008.  "Tripp Bratton took on the incredible task of teaching all levels of musicians the parade songs in four or five weekend practices. That was the first time I met Lori Houlihan, the leader of this 'one time event.'  I've been in awe at the commitment and inspiration she's brought to this band since then," she adds.

Finding the MMMB was a natural step in Heather's acclimation to the area.  "I moved from Portland, Oregon area to Lexington in 2005 and felt quite a few voids. One was belonging to a musical group. Portland had so many diverse musical groups; you can't help but be inspired at all the creativeness around you! One of these groups I had taken a few years of lessons was a bateria, or percussion group, called Lions of Batucada.  It was a feast for the eyes and ears watching the dancers and drummers. You couldn't help yourself from shaking your booty to the samba rhythms!"

"So now it's 2005 and in Lexington and a bit disappointed when seeing 'live music' meant listening to pop cover tunes all night, but that is what people want to hear, I guess. Enter the Big Maracas! Sure they have cover tunes, but they were 'different' in a way and got you up and dancing and participating with Enrique passing around the maracas and getting the crown involved!"

Heather goes on to explain, "Mecca Dance Studio had organized a Mardi Gras parade in 2007 and I got to play quad bell a-go-go with them as part of a percussion group behind the talented Mecca dancers. After that absolutely fun event, I felt a longing to be a part of something more established. I tried to form a percussion group called Samba Gato and even had offered a free lessons, but few people showed and the commitment level was low... and didn't have the power of Facebook yet...but where I failed, Lori Houlihan had succeeded the next year with the gathering of local musicians and the excitement snowballed from there. I'm sure I can speak for many of the MMMB that they've not only found a fun group but also have gained lifelong friendships. It's home here in Lexington now."

Heather Auman's enthusiasm for her beloved MMMB is characteristic of the folks involved in this thoroughly entertaining band.  They all love working together, with Lori (a/k/a Lolliloo) and playing their music with their powerfully palatable sound.  I hope you will buy tickets and get out to see them -- you can do it easily via paypal, through Madness Marching Band

March Madness Marching Band is fabulous. Do yourself and them a favor by going out to Buster's on February 18 and have a blast! 

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