The Mighty Souls Brass Band’s debut album Lift Up is exactly what you need to listen to when you’re having withdrawals from all the Mardi Gras fun. If you missed out on finding that little baby in your king cake this year, mix up a drink, put Lift Up on, sit back and crown yourself the king of your own krewe.
The Mighty Souls Brass Band was Sean Murphy’s big dream that came to be with the joint efforts of up to 14 rotating and evolving musicians from Memphis. The MSBB’s music ranges in styles from Marching, Swing, Soul and Funk with each track of the album taking on its own sound that it’s impossible to listen to without feeling the desire to move your feet. The music speaks for itself and requires little in the way of lyrics though a few of the tracks offer some vocals that only enhance the notes that are pushed through the loud horns and jazzy percussion beats.
It’s no secret that my favorite thing about New Orleans is the off the beaten path swing and jazz bars where I can dream about being one of the girls being swung up on a dashing man’s shoulders and spun around the floor… and this album is exactly what I would want to be the soundtrack of my fantasy swing dancing self. Check out this video and tell me you don’t feel like putting on your suit going out and grabbing a cutie in a swing dress and tossing her around the dance floor!
Ahhh. The guitar riff. Doesn’t matter what kind of music you like or what kind folks hate. Everyone loves the guitar riff. It has the power to make girls take off their clothes and guys beat the shit out of each other. It has been said that God may have created man but Sam Colt made them equal…well, the ability to play signature guitar riffs made them cool.
Dire Straits – Money For Nothing: There have been plenty of rock gods over the years but none were ever so godly as the 12 year old version of me playing air guitar on my mother’s broom to the opening riffs of this song.
Metallica – Seek and Destroy: Unarguably my favorite guitar riff of all time. I damned near joy juiced my trousers the day I learned how to play it.
Guns and Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine: Remember up above when I said the guitar riff, on occasion, had the power to make women take their clothes off? I present “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. Go to any town where there is a large collection of rednecks and beer and a body of water. Crank “Sweet Child O’ Mine”….I guaran-fucking-tee someone will have their titties out by the second chorus. It’s as reliable as beads in New Orleans. Also, if you were gonna assign hair metal a “signature riff” would there even be another option?
Pantera – Walk: Remember up above when I said the guitar riff, on occasion, had the power to make men beat the shit outta one another? I present “Walk” (or any other Pantera riff). I bet you could play “Walk” over the PA at a Phish concert and a mosh pit would form.
With Gill’s debut album The Ballad of Lucy Lawless Soirez, he cemented himself into my musical life. That album was everything I wanted for a soundtrack while cooking, drinking with friends, reading, or basically anything that’s chill and enjoyable. Gill’s one of those guys you might not have heard of but you’ve probably heard. While he’s put out a large amount of music with the New Orleans jug band The Kitchen Syncopators, you’re probably more likely to have heard his banjo and steel guitar chops with Old Crow Medicine Show.
That said, Gill solo is nothing like OCMS (a band I love). His solo material tends to take on a much more sophisticated and well-rounded sound, or viewers of the HBO series “Treme” might say it takes on a lot more of a New Orleans sound. I’m more engineer than music expert, so I prefer the “sophisticated” descriptor. HOWEVER, if I were to don my music expert hat (made of bedazzled construction paper), I’d say Gill’s music is a mixture of old country blues and jazz, with the songster sounds of the 30’s as garnish to Gill’s magnificent voice (lol…who’s been watching too much Top Chef?).
Regardless of how you wanna describe the sounds you hear on Piety & Desire, the only point we have to agree on is that it’s Essential Listening and an odds-on fave for our top of the year list.
If Nick Cave, a carnival barker, Jayne Mansfield, and the French Quarter had a love child it would be the five headed beast known as Dirty Bourbon River Show.Based in New Orleans these boys live up to their name even on a studio album and by that I mean you feel a little bit dirty and a lot like you need a glass of bourbon when you listen to them. Formed in 2009 under the name “Buck Johnson and the Hootenanny Kid” with just frontman Noah Adams and drummer Dane “Bootsy” Schindler they picked up Big Charlie Skinner and Wayne Mitchell along the way and the schizophrenic variety hour that is Dirty Bourbon River Show was pushed out, kicking and screaming into the world. The opening track, Anything Goes Tonight opens with Nawlins piano jangle and brings on the horns slow and dirty and really makes you believe that anything goes…tonight. After that the band yanks us kicking and screaming through all sorts of genres, sounds, and lyrical ruminations and shows an ability to make each style their very own in a way that makes you realize they own each note, each breath, each idea in the song. I even think I could dance to some it. It might not be pretty but I could do it. This stuff is Essential Listening for sure. I think the best track is Ruffian Since Birth but the whole album is worth putting the needle in the groove for without a doubt.
To top off releasing a flat out amazing first offering the band has a blog that isn’t just for promoting themselves. You can catch them lamenting the lack of rap music these days, posting strange pictures, and talking about other bands they dig. They carve they way into Houston on May, 10 and I plan to catch them because I have feeling that seeing these guys live will be more than just a good show. I almost expect dancing ponies and a ringmaster but I figure that’s a little over the top but from a band like this it wouldn’t shock me. So it’s time for you all to check out something that’s a little outside of what I normally cover because it’s just that damn good. I’ll be sure to let you know how the show turns out because it’s the show I am looking forward to the most in the next little while. Check ’em out live if you get a chance but for now check out these tracks and while you listen check out their Kickstarter project…it’s in the links below the tracks so you have no damn excuse not to. If you can spare a buck or two you can help fund their musical efforts.
Side Note: You may not know it from my postings here but I am fairly concerned about copyright issues in today’s society. From ACTA to copyright extensions every time Mickey Mouse is about to enter the public domain our rights to use the art we purchase, with our hard earned dollars, is being eroded. I mentioned the Kickstarter project because efforts like Kickstarter are a tool to attack the big labels who are fighting against our rights to share music with friends and even to make digital copies of music we have bought and paid for. I won’t go into a rant here, and trust me I easily could, but even if you don’t like DBRS all that much please look around Kickstarter and find project you can support. In doing so you help artists maintain control of their work and help promote your own rights by fighting against the record companies’ archaic, and dying, business model.