Bonerama is fun. Bonerama is powerful. And in their first full-length studio CD, they have made a switch from their previous live recordings of brass-infused funk to brass infused-rock. Along with the ever present trio of trombones, the bands guitarist, Bert Cotton, has stepped up to the front line to become a major player with his robust rock licks. Backed by some talented friends who have joined the party on this album, including Dr John, Dave Malone, and George Porter Jr., founding members Mark Mullins and Craig Klein have stretched into more vocal arrangements in this collection than on previous recordings. And, along with fellow trombonist Greg Hicks, they have not forgotten their roots as they supply the brass wall of sound that defines Bonerama.
Tunes on this CD range from the fun and whimsical "I'm Lost" and "I Don't Wanna Play Guitar" with Mullins playing his signature electric trombone and the Mullins and Klein children singing background vocalsto the finale cover of Jimi Hendrix "Manic Depression" where the Bonerama horns show the power of three trombones, backed up by Cotton's screaming guitar and Joe Ashlar ripping it up on the organ. A great classic rock ending to their new sound.
In between, there are standout tunes including "Look Out Lonely" that features REM singer Mike Mills on a mellow vocal with The Radiators Malone adding a strong guitar solo. All of the stars join in on the classic New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tune "Indian Red" with The Meters Porter on bass, Malone on guitar, and Mills and Dr. John contributing to the vocals. It is a strong rendition to a tune loved by the city and its Indian tradition. Traditional Bonerama fans will enjoy the danceable and grooving sound of "What You See" with its commanding horns, and the reggae-infused cover of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew "Let The Four Winds Blow."
Bonerama's new sound is not so much a new direction as it is a new dimensionan added layer to the traditional funk infused tunes and New Orleans classics they are known for in the city that loves them dearly. It is a welcome addition to the repertoire that has made these fine musicians a sought after club and festival band that pulls audiences out of their chairs as they take over their bodies with music that makes them dance. Bonerama takes its name from a play on panoramaa wide view of an extensive area in all directions. This new CD leaves no doubt that this band can play an extensive area in all directions. And they do it well.
Track Listing: Track Listing: She's Hurting; Close The Door; Funky Brown Shorts; I'm Lost; Look Out
Lonely; Indian Red; I Don't Wanna Play Guitar; Hero; What You See; Swamped In; Let
The Four Winds Blow; Manic Depression
Personnel: Personnel: Mark Mullins: trombone, electric trombone, lead vocals; Craig Klein:
trombone, lead vocals; Greg Hicks: trombone, vocals; Bert Cotton: guitar, Alvin Ford,
Jr.: drums(1,3,4,5,6,11); Eric Bolivar: drums ( 2,7,8,9,10,12); Nori Naroka: bass
(2,7,8,9,10,12); Jason "JJ USA" Jurzak: sousaphone (1,3,4,5,6,11); Joe Ashlar: organ
(2,7,8,9,10,12); Kaylen, Kelsey, Kevin, and Claire Klein & Michael and Eli Mullins:
vocals (7); Dr. John: piano, vocals (6); Mike Mills:vocals (5,6); George Porter, Jr.: bass,
vocals (6,11); Dave Malone: guitar, vocals ( 1,5,6); Mike Dillon: percussion (1,6,9)
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition. He was on the band bus the next day as Dorsey's alto sax and clarinet player, and never looked back. He played with great bandleaders such as Freddie Martin, Tex Beneke and Ray McKinley, some before he was out of his teens (they had to lie about his age to get him into nightclubs). Many older musicians have told me he was the greatest alto sax player they ever worked with. He was equally great on clarinet and was clarinetist and harmony singer for cocktail jazz pioneers, the Ernie Felice Quartet.
He eventually left the road and settled down, and that's when I came in. By that time, he was, by day, vocal group session leader/player/arranger for classic jingles and commercial music produced in Dallas. At night, he played in society bands, jazz combos and elegant showrooms. Tuesdays were slow in the showrooms, so band members' families got in free, and my mom took me to see him backing such legends as Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Steve and Eydie, and a very old Ella Fitzgerald. Between that, hearing his record collection, growing up around the legendary musicians and singers who were like aunts and uncles to me, and just listening to him practice around the house, filling the neighborhood with incredible jazz sax riffs, I couldn't help becoming that weird kid who was listening to Peggy Lee, Ella and Manhattan Transfer when my classmates were listening to rock, country and soul.
Even though he died before I ever sang professionally, he remains my inspiration and all my CDs are dedicated to him. I like to think that he'd like my music, since it's built on the foundation he handed down to me.