Currently making preparations like a whole lot of people in the US for watching the Super Bowl on Sunday (which means I won’t be hosting Melting Pot tomorrow, instead I’ll leave you in the VERY capable hands of SeanO from KPFK’s Soundwaves!), which this year is going to be in probably THE place it should always be, New Orleans. With New Orleans on the mind (and with the possibility of interviewing the band very soon, hopefully more on that next week), I’ve been listening to the Hot 8 Brass Band’s album which came out at the tail end of the year. As has been evidenced here, the end of 2012 was kind tough on me, so there’s a lot of music that came out that I haven’t been able to bring out nearly enough on Melting Pot. Hot 8 Brass’s record is certainly one of those. Hot 8 shares the city with other highly talented brass bands, including Rebirth, Soul Rebels and Dirty Dozen. Like those bands, their particular brass band style mixes a bit of that New Orleans second line sound with jazz, R&B and Hip-Hop. Hot 8 puts their own special brand on the style and shows that in a city full of great musicians, the band is worthy of acclaim all their own. Hot 8 Brass has also been a guest on one of my favorite TV shows, and one of the best television shows about music and musicians, Treme. “New Orleans (After The City)” was featured in the show and on the soundtrack and now finds it’s way on this album as well.
One of the great surprises of the album, is the band’s choice to cover the Specials’ “Ghost Town,” recontextualizing it into a post-Katrina anthem for NOLA, as haunting and soulful as the city itself: