The North Mississippi Allstars -- with roots of rock and blues -- and the Dirty Dozen's party jazz will surely assuage any bitterness left from the "Welcome Jenna and Barbara" sign that recently greeted visitors to 32 Bleu.
The bands are ideal touring partners showcasing two divergent themes of Southern musical tradition yet approaching the music in similar styles.
The Allstars are coming off a summer drive filled with collaborating with a slew of musicians including three generations of blues legend R.L. Burnside's family. The 2003 release of Polaris is the band's best work to date -- covering all the bases from the jam-band scene, decently produced pop tunes, and elements of the Allman Brothers Band. In the Southern rock genre, the Allstars' tenacious sounds will complement the brassy sounds of New Orleans' legends the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Like the Allstars, the Dirty Dozen are no strangers to mixing it up with sounds and styles that fall outside of their traditional repertoire. Working with Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Widespread Panic and the Black Crows (to name a few) has increased the band's dynamism and artistic relevancy without eschewing the traditional Crescent City brass R & B and jazz style.
While the Rebirth Brass Band might have a greater following among the hipster and trustafarian crowd, the Dirty Dozen has progressed from the dirty, street hip-hop brass arena into a style allowing more collaboration and musical progression. After a string of decent yet typical albums in the 1980s, the band broke through stagnant brass band tradition and released the amazing Buck Jump album, produced by John Medeski. Following the release of the album, WWOZ, a New Orleans station that rarely plays anything on a regular basis, played the sensational "Old School" track on seeming rotation.
The momentum that the Dirty Dozen reached with its subsequent album, Medicated Magic (2002), mirrored the increasing popularity that New Orleans-style brass music achieved on a national basis. Former Rebirth trumpetist Kermit Ruffins' reputation increased in larger cities like San Francisco and New York, while Midwestern gigs like the Youngblood Brass Band emerged playing a fierce and politically charged style of brass.
The Dirty Dozen's most recent work, Funeral for a Friend, returns to street-orientated jazz funeral and second-line inspired work. Dedicated to recently deceased band member Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, the band digs into religious hymns and earthy soul.
The diversity of Southern music that the Nov. 10 show will bring to town is enough to redeem past insults to thinking members of the Colorado Springs music community. The North Mississippi Allstars and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will definitely come to "C" Springs to party.
-- Aaron Menza
capsule The North Mississippi Allstars and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Rising Star Fife & Drum Band
32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon St.
Wednesday, Nov. 10, 9 p.m.
$16.75 advance, $18 day of show
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