Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Album Review: Rebirth Brass Band - Feel Like Funkin' It Up

Rebirth Brass Band
Feel Like Funkin' It Up
****and1/2 out of *****

The newest release from the Tipitina's Record Club is a reissue of the Rebirth Brass Band's classic album Feel Like Funkin' It Up presented on super cool, cream soda colored vinyl. This is the first vinyl release of the record since it was originally offered in 1989.   

The album contains the songs that long running brass band would be best known for including the ripping title track.  The Rebirth Brass Band that recorded the record were some of the best musicians in the city and included: Bass Drum, Cymbal, Backing Vocals, Percussion – Keith Frazier, Percussion [Snare Drum], Backing Vocals, Percussion – Kenneth Austin, Saxophone [Tenor], Backing Vocals, Percussion – John Gilbert, Trombone, Backing Vocals, Percussion – Keith "Wolf" Anderson, Trumpet, Backing Vocals, Percussion – Derek Wiley, Trumpet, Lead Vocals, Leader, Percussion – Kermit Ruffins, Trumpet, Percussion – Derrick Shezbie, and Tuba, Leader, Percussion – Philip Frazier

The A side of the album simply never stops grooving with energy and upbeat passion. The opening "Do Whatcha Wanna (Part 2)" has become a stone cold classic in New Orleans and beyond with funky brass runs, bopping drums, and excitable vocals. The group's take on the classic "Big Chief" is unique as percussion is the focus, glass bottles and yelps can be heard on this crystal clear reproduction holding down the fort for the popping quick brass lines to shoot out. 

The infectious title track uses bumping tuba and super fast brass blasts as the solos slam into each other in a joyous cacophony of sound. The A side wraps up with Ruffins taking over the lead vocals of an old Sam Thread song titled "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead" as the humor comes out in Ruffins smirking delivery.

The B side starts up with the anti Crack song "Leave That Pipe Alone" which begins and ends with that title phrase (and the smashing of glass pipes) but is a true showcase for the trumpet soloing of Ruffins, Wiley, and Shezbie who are dynamite with their lead lines. "Mexican Special" is a spirited original that uses some Latin inspiration, mixing effortlessly with the New Orleans brass band sound, while the groups cover of "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground" keeps the party banging with a rip roaring blast through the Michael Jackson R&B gem. 

The classic record wraps with a tribute to New Orleans legends Fats Domino and David Bartholomew as Rebirth spruces up "I'm Walkin'" delivering a full on party with shouts of joy, deep tuba, bright trumpet lines and pure sense of fun sprawling way out past the confines of the original, that purse sense of unadulterated joy never let's up from the first notes of the album to the last.   

The strongest full length album in the Rebirth Brass Band's back catalog, Feel Like Funkin' It Up sounds just as exciting today as it did in 1989. It is hard to listen to this one sitting still as the gorgeous vinyl spins and pristine production delivers yet another success from he Tipitina's Record Club that makes you just want to get up and dance. 
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

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