It’s a Tuesday night in New Orleans. Music fans are lining up at the Maple Leaf Bar to the Rebirth Brass Band. Everyone pays a small entrance fee and cozies up to the bar for some drinks. Once the concert goers are hydrated they surround a very small stage awaiting the Rebirth Brass Band to take the stage. A few locals are impatient stamping their feet and exclaiming “Rebirth we are waaaaaiting…” Finally the brass band takes the stage from the first note the audience is captivated, screaming and dancing to the grooves. If this sounds like a fabulous night you are right but believe it or not this occurs every Tuesday night in New Orleans.
Rebirth has been around since 1972 and formed by original members The Frazier brothers, Phil and Keith, along with trumpet legend Kermit Ruffins. The brass band has been called a “New Orleans Institution” by the New York Times. In season 1 of the hit HBO show Treme the opening scene featured the band leading a second line parade into the city. I recently watched the scene with my parents whom were both engrossed in their newspapers when I popped the DVD in. As the band marched and the music grew in intensity both of them could not divert their eyes form the TV screen. I am off the opinion if you cannot be moved by Rebirth’s music you have no soul.
Today, Rebirth’s latest effort “Rebirth Of New Orleans” is available at music retailers everywhere on Basin Street Records. The first track off of the album “Exactly Like You” tips off with a triumphant snare cadence as to make sure the audience is ready to listen. The second track “You Know You Know” features the horn line in very tight unison. There is also a spirited saxophone solo on this track too and while Rebirth has the power to blow everyone’s face off it is nice to have solos to hear the individual musicality of the musicians. In the track “The Dilemma” there is an Afro-Cuban groove locked in by the horn section and drums. My favorite song on the record has to be “Let’s Go Get ‘Em” with this infectious groove that motivates the listener to just get up and give life everything you got. While all of the music on this record is a party there is no missing the message in the lyrics. On “What Goes Around Comes Around” the listener is reminded “What goes around comes around in its time…” “On “Do It Again” it is clear that the band is here to stay and “We have already done it and we goin’ do it again.”
After several spins of this disc I can easily say that it has captured the intensity of a live Rebirth Show. Whether the horns are blasting or there is ahorn solo it is absolutely breathtaking what a band like this can come up with. Consider this article a gentle reminder to book your travel now to New Orleans and make sure that includes a Tuesday night session with the tightest band in the land, the Rebirth Brass Band.
To preview some music from the new record click here.