Trombone Shorty and Glen David Andrews at Fado

Categories: SXSW

Trombone Shorty and Glen David Andrews are two of the multitude of grandchildren of New Orleans R&B legend Jesse "Ooh Poo Pa Doo" Hill, and they performed back to back at Fado, an Irish pub a little west of Congress.

Trombone Shorty's set was packed, and his sprawling funk jams gave him ample space to show off not just on his namesake horn but also the trumpet. I did think he could use a bit more vocalizing, though.

Sadly, most of the crowd left before Andrews took the stage in a natty suit. To me, he is the new face of post-Katrina New Orleans. From the '20s to the '60s, it was Louis Armstrong. From the late '60s to the '90s, it was Dr. John. Kermit Ruffins held the throne for a few years in the noughties. But the post-apocalyptic Big Easy is Glen David's town -- Spike Lee chose him to close out his documentary with an a cappella reading of an old hymn.


He lived in Houston for a time and didn't really enjoy his stay. He had this to say in the current issue of Offbeat:

"I was in Houston for six months but I left. I was stressed. They don’t welcome us there. They have an ad campaign right now there encouraging all the people in Houston to buy a gun to protect themselves from those people from New Orleans. Those people. They did have that bunch of assholes that went out there killing everybody, but that doesn’t represent the rest of us."

At 25, Andrews is as dedicated to the traditional sounds of his hometown as any Preservation Hall zealot, and with his band the Lazy 6 (a line-up of bass and snare drummers, tuba, banjo/guitar) he delivered song after song after song, seguing from "Eh La Bas" type trad jazz to a long Fats Domino medley built around "I'm Walkin'." Marcia Ball showed up in time to catch his usual closer -- "Stand By Me" -- and was sucked in to the crowd of dancing, singing converts. It's tempting to write him off sight unseen as some boring Dixieland cat, but he's anything but. The hoary old classics are enlivened with both vigor and a healthy dose of righteous anger.

Andrews is not the horn maestro Trombone Shorty is, but he is one of the most amazing vocalists alive today -- his billowing baritone is like a horn instrument itself -- and he is an incredible entertainer. He sanctifies, electrifies, hellafies. If you weren't dancing at this show you were dead. - John Nova Lomax


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