New Birth For New Orleans Brass Bands
Hingle said the group, whose latest album, New Birth Family, includes a scorching version of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman and the group's masterful original "Project Love, already has gigs lined up in Houston on Thursday, with Ruffins at a club called Sammy's, and on Friday and Sunday. Hingle said the band hopes to play a benefit for the evacuees at Astrodome. On Sept. 25 the band plays Boston, then heads to Germany for a show on Sept. 27.
"It ain't over, he said, laughing. "We're going to try to make it better. It might not be today or tomorrow, but we'll be back. We took New Orleans with us anyway, so everywhere we go, we've got it.
Lumar LeBlanc, snare drummer and leader of Soul Rebels, could not be reached on his cell phone. The band's latest album, Rebelution, features the irresistibly upbeat, Caribbean-tinged "Let It Roll and the party-people bounce of "It's Our Time.
A statement on the band's Web site said:
"Alright, here is the current Rebel tally via Derrick 'Oops' Moss [bass drum]. So far, we've accounted for Lumar, Damion [Francois, tuba], Erion [Williams, saxophone] and I believe Marcus 'Red' Hubbard [trumpet]. No word from Winston [Turner, trombone] or Tannon [Williams, trumpet and flugelhorn] yet, hopefully that'll come soon. Mike Woods, Rebel percussionist, is still in New Orleans as far as we know. Updates as we get them.
"God Bless New Orleans! Prayers to everyone in the Crescent City. You'll rise again and show the world your greatness.
Surely they will. Katrina may have walloped the home of brass band music, but it didn't crush the spirit of the people who make it. For them, it's a time of rebirth, new birth, a soul revolution.
For information on other New Orleans musicians, Tipitina's, the Tchoupitoulas Street club famous as the spiritual home of pianist Professor Longhair, and WWOZ are compiling lists of artists who have been found since the evacuation on their Web sites.