Since the release of their Grammy®-nominated 2010 debut album, Backatown, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have grown creatively while winning hordes of new fans performing nonstop on five continents. Their latest album, For True, offers substantive proof of their explosive growth, further refining the signature sound Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has dubbed "Supafunkrock." "There was excitement from everywhere," says Andrews (now 27) of the experience on the road and how it fed into the creation of For True. "We did over 200 shows in the last year and a half, and every night we allowed the music to take us over. Musically and creatively, we wanted to shoot for some different things."
The band - Mike Ballard on bass, Pete Murano on guitar, Joey Peebles on drums, Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax and Tim McFatter on tenor sax - stirs together old-school jazz, funk and soul, laced with hard-rock power chords and hip-hop beats, and they've added some tangy new ingredients on For True as they keep pushing the envelope, exploring new musical territory.
"We never sat down and really thought about concepts and what we wanted our music to sound like," Andrews explains. "It's just that, over the years, we allowed each one of the band members to bring their influences and taste in music into our music. Anything we hear or are influenced by, it naturally comes out in what we're trying to do. It's just our sound, and it happened naturally."
Andrews wrote or co-wrote all 14 tracks on the new album, including collaborating with the legendary Lamont Dozier on "Encore," while this time playing as much trumpet as trombone, as well as organ, drums, piano, keys, synth bass and percussion. Indeed, he played every part on the swaying, Latin-tinged "Unc." He's also come into his own as a singer, honoring the hallowed legacy of the great soul men of the 1960s and '70s. Like its predecessor, the new album turns on a rare combination of virtuosity and high-energy, party-down intensity.
Among the special guests are longtime NOLA cohorts like Ivan and Cyril Neville (who bring their trademark sound to "Nervis"); Galactic's Ben Ellman, reprising his producer's role on Backatown (percussion on opener "Buckjump," harmonica on "Big 12") and Stanton Moore (drumming on "Lagniappe Part 1" and "Part 2"); bounce rapper 5th Ward Weebie and the Rebirth Brass Band (who team up on "Buckjump") and Troy's longtime friend Charles Smith (who adds percussion to the same track).