Half Notes: Treme Brass Band – Treme Traditions (2011)

From the first honking strains of Roger Lewis’ sax on “The Treme Song,” amidst a howling group of happy singers led by David Montana and Fred Johnson Jr., the intentions of Treme Traditions are clear: Party. This album is like a street parade crammed inside of a shiny disc, courtesy of Mardi Gras Records. The Treme Brass Band, which also features drummers Benny Jones Jr. and Shannon Powell as well as trumpeter Kenneth Terry, add new spark to familiars like the Meters‘ “Hey Pocky Way,” Earl King‘s “Big Chief,” “Second Line” (the song they play in the Superdome when the New Orleans Saints score), Earl “Fatha” Hines’ “My Monday Date” and Kermit Ruffins‘ “Treme Second Line.” Executive producer Warren Hildebrand also works up new arrangements of the delirously fun Fat Tuesday anthem “Golden Crown,” polyrhythmic field-hollers like “Indian Red” and “Shallow Water,” and the gospel tent-shaking “Jesus is on the Mainline.” This stuff hits the base of your spine and then shoots to the tips of your toes and fingers. Before long, you’re helpless to stop tapping and snapping.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.