So what is PepperHorn Music, huh? …
PepperHorn has come out of a need from our community; the guys that get up on stage every night and knock it out for the audience. Whether you’re on a ship or in the local pub, on a Vegas casino stage or touring only the finest cabaret’s of south-south-northern Scandinavia. We’re all just professionally jobbing musos that need to have access to professional quality arrangements and sheet music to get the job done. Sounds simple, right?
It’s easy to pop into most any music store around the globe and grab a Fake Book or Piano and vocal score. You might even find a hefty priced Big Band score written for children with ‘musical handicaps’. That stuff just won’t really cut it on the professional gig, night after night, show after show. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have a solid core of guys around you that know the set list inside out and haven’t had a dot in front of them in years. If that’s your situation then consider yourself lucky! The rest of us know all too well that most nights you might not know the cat in the chair next to you. He’s a sub that’s a ‘friend of this guy who played a gig with him on that ship out of God-knows-where’. He might be a killin’ lead player, but when you plop down your coffee-stained, hand written horn ‘lead’ mess in front of him he doesn’t stand a chance in hell (by hell I do mean Carnival Cruise Lines).
That’s where the need comes in. Let’s face it; if you’re on a gig with more than a rhythm section and vocalist you’re going to need more than a simple chord and (maybe) melody sheet to pull it all together and sound like pros. Add in some horns (ie. More than your buddy the Alto Sax owner) and you’ve got a whole new dynamic in the mix. And these guys need dots to read to sound like a horn section. Remember those horns sections; the ones from Buddy Rich, Maynard, Chicago, TOP, Earth, Wind & Fire. That’s a the sound of a real horn section, and at some point in their rehearsal process those guys had lots of dots in front of them. But back to the music store: you walk in and ask the guy for ‘x’ pop standard arranged for your Commitments tribute sized band and … and … you’re out of luck. We all know they don’t really exist and the places where you can get them on the net or on ebay – they don’t really support the music and musicians that we know, love, tribute and would honestly like to see get their fare dues (or fare dinkum for our mates down here).
Well that’s sort of the jumping off point. It’s what you’ll find throughout the PepperHorn offerings and in our anchor brand which is PepperHorn Collections. Collections is a team effort with some of the established publishing companies out there like [list cos here]. They’ve allowed a little start-up like us at PepperHorn to license these hits to put them in the formats that you need to get the job done. You’ll find arrangements here that are written for 2 horns to 5444/Big Band and all with individual rhythm parts (more on that later)[link] and vocal lead. Whether you’re doing the ship or casino gig or a corporate or events function band this is the place to start to build your cover book and get the gigs. And let’s face it; it’s just fun to knock out some of these tunes on the bandstand.
We’ve also worked up a couple of brands to breathe new life into the music that some of us came up with. The first brand is PepperHorn Down South. This one is a pet project of the Big Cheese, Shaun Evans and came out of his love for sitting down with a pickup bunch of guys and knocking out some foot-stompin’ New Orleans classics. Down South’s material has been specifically arranged for the type of ensembles you’d have on that pickup gig: some night’s maybe 3 horns and others 4, 5 or 6. The idea behind having arrangements and not just lead sheets is that a lot of us weren’t lucky enough to grow up in the ‘tradition’ and know our way around the form of these tunes. We’ve laid it all out so if you’ve never done Tiger Rag you won’t end up eating your hat (or buying the first round) after the gig. You’ll find standard intros, ensemble parts, horn backings, shout choruses, classic tags and lots of room to blow. We’ve also really focused on vocal numbers because they’re just so much fun! You don’t have to be Caruso to knock out a great version of Ain’t Gonna Give You None Of My Jelly Roll. You just have to have some sass!
Under the Down South header you’ll also find some great tracks of Trad. Jazz, New Orleans Jazz and Dixieland and Chicago and KC 20s Jazz from our partners at Jazz Crusade Records. Bill Bissonnette (and now his son, Doug) have worked for years to record as much of the New Orleans Trad. Jazz legacy including classic artists like Kid Thomas, Milton Batiste, Greg Stafford and Dr. Michael White. Bill is also a ripping trombone player and you can hear him in all his might with his own bands like the Easy Riders. If you’re curious about what this whole New Orleans thing is about or a true, lifelong aficionado of the genre you have to grab a bunch of these tracks. And they’re going at a great price – as low as 99c a track which is pretty sweet! There’ll be more to come so keep your eyes peeled.
Also under the Down South header you’ll find the other fun side of New Orleans Jazz – the Brass Bands and 2nd Line. If you’re a fan of Rebirth, Dirty Dozen, Zenith, Eureka or Youngblood you’ll know what we’re talking about. It’s that gritty, fun, Tuba and percussion driven party music. Sometimes it can be solemn funeral music as well, but always ends up with letting loose and getting feet moving. Down South will be putting together charts for this mix of ensemble and improvisation under our Down South – 2nd Line collection. If you’ve been aching to put that brass band together or have the only ‘street stompers’ in the five counties this one’s for you!
Getting back to what’s old is new again is PepperHorn Golden Era. Under this brand we’re endeavoring to take some old time classics from the turn of the last century and give them a new life. These tunes were the hits from the late 1800s and WWI up into the 20s and there’s some real show stoppers in there. The audience knows and loves them, but it’s hard to work them into a modern set list so we’re going to tweak them here and give them a breath of inspiration there and hopefully provide you with some dots to get these tunes moving again. Have a visit to the Golden Era pages and check out some samples to see what we mean. It’s always fun and exciting giving an audience a new look at a tune they know and love!
So if you’ve read all this way and haven’t drifted off to your Facebook updates yet you’re ready for the flip side of the coin here; PepperHorn Originals.
Originals is just what the name suggests – new and original creative works in a wide variety of genres from artists all over the globe. It’s going to be a venue where we can put into print their happenin’ tunes so you can get them on the dance floor. It’s a pretty new and exciting concept and you should really learn more about what we’re doing. Check out the Originals in depth page[link]. We’d really like to see a lot of people take this one on board with us and help promote some great tunes. Hopefully we’ll start making some hits!
Finally, throughout all of our brands you’ll see our take on the fake or lead sheet called RealLead Editions. Basically we’ve re-tooled the traditional lead sheet to give it a little more information. These sheets are designed to be affordable, one or two page editions of some of our popular rep and are aimed and those small ensemble gigs. Remember at the top how adding 2 or more horns to the gig really changed the dynamic? Well, just because you might only have a rhythm section and a horn or two doesn’t mean that you don’t want things to be tight, right? This is where the RealLead Editions step out from a standard fake sheet: With these leads the top, tails, solos, forms and any pertinent backings are all there. Each RealLead Edition includes a C Concert lead with melody and changes as well as the same thing in Bb and Eb. We also include a separate Rhythm Lead with info that is more pertinent to the rhythm section like shots, maybe some extra changes and rhythmic style info. The idea with RealLead Editions is to take out that margin of error in the small group, pickup or lead gig by setting the form and all the hits out in a concise and easy to understand manner. No train wrecks or trash can endings for you! Check out the RealLead Edition category for some examples and more info.
We also have our own line of play-along practice mp3s coming down the pipe called PepperHorn Sheddin’. These tracks are designed as a cost-effective compliment to the charts and songs that we’re offering. If there’s a direction in play-along/practice mp3s that you’d like to see better served let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So that’s PepperHorn Music. As you can see we’re a little company (of one right now!) with a lot on our plate. Good thing we’re big eaters! We’ll keep bringing you what you need and are happy to keep tweaking the offerings based on your input so if you have something to say give us a shout at email@example.com. Our mission is to bring you the dots that you need to get the job done so let us know what will help you have a successful gig, night after night.
Thanks for tuning in and Happy Shopping!