The Post Street Rhythm Peddlers come armed with a banjo, trumpet, washboard, clarinet, and everything else a prohibition-era jazz band needs. The nine members are all full of grins, a ton of fun to watch, and aware that, to a lot of modern audiences, the music may unfairly seem just like novelty.
“From an outside perspective, the music seems goofy. But at the time, in the 1920s, this kind of jazz was the rock ’n’ roll of its day,” says pianist Dave Faulkner. “It was just a raging party time in the United States, and the music really reflects that, just booze and drinking and partying. We try to recreate that in some respects, but also bring a modern twist.”
The group is oddly connected to a local electronic scene based on the sub-genre called electro-swing, where DJs sample old swing records and add electronic beats to it. They’ve been the only live band at most of these events, and have no electronics whatsoever, but have been a favorite among these audiences.
“They try to do swing dance, kind of pretend old-style dance. People are bobbing around. Some people don’t know quite what to do, but they’re smiling,” Faulkner says.
The group has been around a number of years, but has gone through some lineup changes. They dress up and play mostly covers of songs from the era of upbeat old-timey jazz, but they keep it loose, and let their other musical influences, like psych-jam band, shine through.
“It’s still 85 percent Dixieland traditional early jazz, but there’s no music stands. It’s kind of a handicap. If you’re reading, it’s one step less from being fully enveloped in the music,” Faulkner says. “We try to give it a more modern party experience rather than trying to create the time period exactly verbatim.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $13/door. 479-1854.