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)
Year Released: 2013
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Funk/Groove
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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