This year sees the tenth anniversary of the formation of Mama Digdown's Brass Band. The men with the vision: Erik Jacobson (sousaphone) and Roc Ohly (tenor sax) are still going strong. Although firmly steeped in the traditions of the great New Orleans brass bands, the 10-piece line-up are based in Wisconsin. The 10-piece band have recorded 6 albums, the latest of which was recorded live at the King Club in Madison, WI, with the exception of one track.
The band hit the ground running with "My Feet Can't Fail Me Now." It is hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere, and start snapping your fingers and chanting along to the chorus line. This is one band that really knows how to make things swing. The opener is no fluke either, as their instrumental version of the Pointer Sisters' "Automatic" proves. For the most part, the band restrict the vocals to chanting along, and save their breath for blowing their horns, which include two trumpets and three trombones. This balance works really well throughout the album, with Jacobson (sousaphone) and the three piece percussion section (bass drum, snare, and other percussion) providing the engine room for the rest of the band.
The halfway point on the album comes with "Grazin' / Digdown Got Fire" which is probably the pick of the tracks. It starts off in a comparatively subdued (for the Digdowns) big band manner with "Grazin'" then the drums segue into "Digdown Got Fire" where there is an almost imperceptible shift of gear. You notice it when instead of your feet just tapping, your start to unconsciously shuffle in your seat. Then you start to chant along, and that is it, you are hooked.
The rest of the album is packed full of good stuff. You can swing out and dance to your heart's content to "Here We Go," "T. Chapman," and "K-Town Standard" which rounds off the live part of the album. The band take things home with a studio recording of "Don't Mess With My Stereo." There's no letting up, however, and the band keep things swinging along, sounding like they were doing it for an audience.
"Delicious" is an infectious album, that will delight all those who enjoy swinging New Orleans brass bands with a whole heap of horns. There is no way you can sit still in your seat once the Digdown groove starts. The failure to include any songwriting credits in the notes is something of an oversight, but this is a minor misgiving: the music on "Delicious" is right out of the top drawer. Let me hear it one more time: "Digdown Got Fire, Digdown Got Fire." Darn right they do!
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