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Kashmere Stage Band: Zero Point 1971-72

Album Notes

When a high school stage band tries to get funky, an upbeat version of "When the Saints Go Marching In" with a fat girl singing scat vocals is usually on the cards. High school is a strange place to find deep funk, but the uniformed afros in the Kashmere Stage Band's class photo are reaffirming. The funk is far from juvenile and sounds nothing but professional. This is in contrast to the liner notes, which list their awards and successful competitions. It is hard to imagine a high school band covering songs by acts like Sly & the Family Stone and adding to them so strongly. The huge sound that the Kashmere Stage Band brought to the songs makes the funk deeper and harder. "Do Your Thing"'s echoed vocals and fuzz tone guitar makes it the most forceful and full track on the album. The band's sound starts to wander into Funkadelic territory and even the Fun House-era Stooges of the same years seem to be connected psychically. It is unbelievable to think that deep in the heart of Texas in the early '70s a high school band was making hard funk and winning high school competitions with it. While most bands were lumbering through odes to the changing of seasons or traditional arrangements, the Kashmere Stage Band were mastering a contemporary sound and laying down some of the best and unappreciated deep Texas funk. Of all the mystery and strangeness about the Zero Point album and the Kashmere Stage Band, it is amazing to look at the where they performed. Listed on back of the album sleeve are performances at "Kashmere Valentine Dance," "Terrell Jr. High Coronation," and "Senior Citizens Day." In Texas, could high school students and the elderly been enjoying hard funk while the rest of the nation was being tortured by Top 40 and super-hits compilations at high school dances? ~ Matt Whalley


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