When you combine some of the finest musicians from the Louisiana area in one band, there will be extreme funkiness. So it’s no surprise that the New Orleans Suspects’ third full-length album is saturated with New Orleans grooves, southern accents, good time music, and superior musicianship.
The band consists of bassist Reggie Scanlan (Professor Longhair, the Radiators), drummer Mean Willie Green (Neville Brothers), sax man Jeff Watson (James Brown, Joss Stone), Jake Eckert on guitar and vocals (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), and C.R. Gruver on keys and vocals.
The material here makes a welcome addition to the group’s live set of visceral, rootsy, regionalist funk. Amidst the fierce second-line call-and-response riffs and seductive grooves, Eckert gets in some spicy licks like on the outro of “Dixie Highway,” Cocaine Jane,” “Get It Started,” and swampy slide on “Creole Hanna.”
Great music of any genre is about good taste and feel, and this album is filled to the brim with it. A track list of eight songs deliver a seven-course meal of visceral drumming, a sassy horn section, and the kind of non-pretentious vocalizations that keeps things honest.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.