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.
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