Tag Archives: Thunder Soul

Kashmere Stage Band Documentary Screening & Performance


Finally, after its SXSW premier back in March, Houston will get some soulful recognition, paid in full tonight. Mark Landsman’s documentary Thunder Soul, the story of the Kashmere Stage Band will screen this evening for free at Discovery Green Park as part of Houston’s year-old Cinema Arts Festival. I was fortunate enough to be present during the shooting of the film and have been eagerly awaiting its local unveiling. Afterward, there will be some words with Landsman and the KSB director’s son, Conrad Johnson Jr as well as a performance by the band.

If you find yourself in Houston tonight, you should really be here. It’s a great moment for civic pride and a hugely important part of the history of Houston music. If you’d like to learn more about the story of the Kashmere Stage Band, here’s an article about the group I wrote in an August issue of the Houston Press titled The Thunder Rolls. And no, I didn’t name the story, yes the editor did in fact name it after the Garth Brooks song and no, I will never forgive him for it.

Things kickoff at 6:45 at Discovery Green Park and you can learn more about the event at the Cinema Arts Festival website.

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The Kashmere Stage Band

Kashmere Stage Band

Kashmere Stage Band in Okinawa, Japan 1975

Every now and then, without warning, a human may be struck with a sudden impetus to take stock of what they’re doing with their life. I was interviewing a member of the Kashmere Stage Band for this article last week when I realized just how much I love what I do. At that moment, there was nothing else I’d rather be doing than listening to this grown man tell me how high school kids from poor broken homes, brought the funk to school. That from 1969 to 1977, the Kashmere Stage Band won 42 of 46 local, regional and national competitions. That competing against them was akin to entering a talent show and finding out James Brown had entered the same contest.

The Kashmere Stage Band played nothing short of a vital roll in the history of Bayou City Soul music. These kids helped break the mold for what a school band plays and how they play it to this day. Not to mention, they were like the all-star farm team for Houston’s multitude of musicians to draft from.

Here’s an excerpt from the story I wrote in the Houston Press:

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