By Pat Gunther
The Soul Rebels, New Orleans’ premier soul brass band, are heading to Bogie’s Bar on Oct. 24th for a must-see set before they return home for a couple of shows, culminating with a set at the Voodoo Fest on Halloween evening. In between, however, the Soul Rebels are running across the globe, returning from China just in time for a NOLA gig at Le Bon Temps Roule.
Big Band, But Better
The Soul Rebels, made up of Lumar LeBlanc, President and Snare Drummer, Derrick “Oops” Moss the Vice-President and Bass Drum king and a beautiful percussion section of Edward Lee on the Sousaphone, Marcus “Red” Hubbard wailing on the Trumpet alongside Julian Gosin, Trombonists Paul Robertson and Corey Peyton and finally Erion Williams grooving on the Tenor Saxophone. In the vain of traditional Big Bands, The Soul Rebels deliver that brassy and catchy-as-hell sound while providing dexterous hip-hop lyrics and infectious, joyful melodies to create a modern day aesthetic that’s hard not to love.
The Soul Rebels have provided some of New Orleans’ most soulful and popular music that’s provided fans from Indonesia to New York with their one-of-a-kind originals and phenomenal renditions of the likes of Jay-Z, Drizzy Drake and Yeezus on their most recent mixtape, Power=Power, which was premiered by Vice’s music imprint Noisey in 2013. Moreover, though, unlike many brass bands from the Big Easy, The Soul Rebels are used to their well-deserved place in the spotlight as evident from a rowdy CMJ Showcase in New York City last year, and of course, their premier on CBS’ 2013 NFL Honors Award Show on Super Bowl Weekend last February.
With their resounding success propelling them on tour in 2014, The Soul Rebels have established themselves as the watershed New Orleans Brass Band as far as experimentation, style and commercial appeal are concerned. Through meshing elements of jazz, funk, rock and of course hip-hop, The Soul Rebels provide fans with a modern take on the improvisational, fluid music that has been popular in the South for several decades. Moreover, their set with Brooklyn’s finest youthful MC Joey Bada$$ is a prime example of The Soul Rebels ability to connect with the perfect collaborations, despite the typical isolation from the mainstream that a lot of New Orleans brass bands are subjected to.
A Staple of NOLA Music
Due in large part to their creativity, improvisational ability and keen ability to perfect whatever track they touch, The Soul Rebels are a staple of today’s New Orleans and Baton Rouge music scene, dominated by jazz hybrids that attempt to craft their own sound out of a cornucopia of influences. When the 8-piece group hits the stage at Bogie’s, there’s no doubt that they will bring with them an air of confidence, technical skill and original songs or covers that are completely irresistible. Simply put: If you’re not dancing at a Soul Rebels show, you should probably take your joyless, fun-hating ass somewhere else.
Pat’s Picks- 3 Soul Rebels Songs You Must Hear Before The Show
1)“Touch The Sky (Kanye West Live Cover)”- Being a Kanye stan, of course this is going to be my first choice. In my opinion, The Soul Rebel’s robust horn section is an improvement on the studio version that Yeezus’ probably took eight months to finalize. This joint is a must-listen.
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2)“Thank You (Jay-Z Medley)”- A classic mash-up of songs that Hov has made recognizable by even my grandmother. They open with a rendition of his Magna Carta (yuck) smash hit “Holy Grail” and continue to bring the fucking noise for close to 7 minutes and 22 seconds. Spectacular.
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3)“Rebelosis (Live)”- The Rebels’ ability to improvise and keep the funk coming at you is incredible on this choice cut from Power=Power. More importantly, the drumming and brass intertwine so beautiful that it’s given me no choice but to get down while writing this article. This track is going to be a hit when they pack Bogie’s on 10/24.
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