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Original Pin Stripe Brass Band | I Wanna Go Back To New Orleans [REVIEW - Gambit Weekly]

(Orleans Records)

Sometimes the simplest things are the most meaningful and profound. They can be simple things like the opening tuba lines on the first track of the new Original Pin Stripe Brass Band CD as it leads into the vocal riffs before Herbert McCarver II defiantly sings, "I Wanna Go Back To New Orleans." It's simple, but so deep given the current state of the post-apocalyptic Crescent City. As the band continues funking it up over great solos, some Rebirth-like parts, and the lyrics that echo Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City," McCarver lists the many reasons he needs to come back and that he might return via bus, train, car or even feet. This is something that touches everyone while the second-line groove makes it impossible not to dance.

The rest of the CD covers all the bases of New Orleans street music. The band comes out of the title track with Fats Domino's thematically similar "I'm Walkin'." They play Mardi Gras Indian music ("Ooh Na Nay"), traditional brass band ("E Flat Blues/Big Legged Woman"), rhythm and blues ("Stand By Me," dedicated to all the victims of Katrina coming back strong) and Mardi Gras music ("Big Chief"). They do all of this with the crisp rolling snare, authoritative vocals, and fat horn parts that the Pin Stripes made famous several years ago with their version of the classic "I Ate Up the Apple Tree." The music on "I Wanna Go Back To New Orleans" has that good-time feel, but the Pin Stripes couple it with a resilient spirit that has marked the grassroots recovery of many musicians and bands. It's a reflection on these times that will last until better times are upon us.

--David Kunian


Originally published in Gambit Weekly [October 10th, 2006], pg. 93


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