Thursday, January 28, 2021

Album Review: The Dirty River Dixie Band - High Life In San Antone

The Dirty River Dixie Band 
High Life In San Antone
*** out of *****

Billed as 'traditional jazz from deep in the heart of Texas', the Dallas based outfit The Dirty River Dixie Band, has clear roots a bit further south and east at the mouth of the Mississippi in New Orleans and traditional Dixieland Jazz. The players look to the past on High Life In San Antone to deliver old-timey charm.

Sounding straight out of the 1920's the bands direct style and sound is light and easy to get up and dance to as the classic "Dipper Mouth Blues" kicks off the record. The group are well versed on tunes that are from a long time ago as: Kris Vargas - Cornet; Curtis Calderon - Cornet; Nick Brown - Clarinet/Tenor Sax; Ian Anderson - Trombone; Tyler Jackson - Banjo/Tenor Guitar; Dan Walton - Piano; Edwin Brown - Sousaphone; Chris Alvarado - Drums each take turns shining.

A album highlight is "China Boy", an exhilarating rush of banjo and fast paced horn flutters while "Moonglow" is a more contemplative piano lead number as the band blows with early jazz and blues styles. "Dinah", "Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night", "I Never Knew" and "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" showcase strong vocal work as well as solos from the band as the collective mixes up their instrumental sounds with some vocal styling.

However The Dirty River Dixie Band are most successful when they dive into their preferred sound such as on "Snake Rag" which features full band strutting, "Stevedore Stomp" which cackles with speakeasy energy and the original uptown funk of the groups take on Duke Ellington's "Jungle Nights In Harlem" which blazes with sleek brass runs.

The group plays a specific type of music, but one that has lasted the test of time and this release in particular is important to the band as it is dedicated to their friend and mentor Jim Cullum Jr a fixture on the Dixieland Jazz scene from Dallas who passed away last year. Jim closes High Life In San Antone with a message of love and some playing as The Dirty River Dixie Band puts fourth an excellent effort in his honor.
Support the artists, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

No comments:

Post a Comment