When it comes to New Orleans, most people think of jazz and Mardi Gras. And while the city truly is a musician's town, generations of singer-songwriters have worked hard to make the town a fertile and supportive network of folks producing original content. Not twangy enough to be country, too much fun to be rock'n'roll, and too happy to be the blues, New Orleans has its own special place. Most of my music pals from the Crescent City are from or adjacent to a certain generation of artists who have firmly taken command of the scene. United Bakery Records, a new label out of New Orleans, has harnessed the power of some of the city's best up-and-comers.
The revue is a live recording of a Jazz Fest set in memory of the United Bakery Gallery, a performance venue that birthed the label. Longtime readers will be familiar with The Tumbling Wheels, whose down-home but raucous sensibility is a joy. Anna Pardenik, who will also be featured on Thursday's Patreon edition of the podcast, is a force to be reckoned with thanks to her powerful vocals and cutting lyrics. Ultimately, the United Bakery Records is as much of a melange of musical styles as the city. The Maggie Belle Band's southern rock is as thick as a good gumbo. Up Up We Go's "Birds" is a whimsical take on reincarnation that exemplifies the town's breezy attitude and acid wit. Kei Slaughter's "Land Loss" is a stark take on New Orleans' recent transformation -- a transformation in part spurred by many of the other folks on the lineup.
These are just the standouts on an album that's remarkable for the talent and creativity on every single track, whether or not they're to your taste. I'm excited to dig deeper into may of these artists' catalogs and report back to you.
United Bakery Records -- Official, iTunes, Preorder on Vinyl
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