Glen David Andrews Delivers Redemption for Your Soul
Trombonist/bandleader/singer/shouter Glen David Andrews proudly represents the New Orleans gospel tradition. His songs draw on two hundred years of African-American music, but also find new places to take his signature blend of gospel, soul and funk. He’s got a new album, Redemption – streaming at Bandcamp – and an upcoming show at Brooklyn Bowl on July 23 at 8 PM; tix are $15.
The hard-rocking opening track, NY to Nola opens with a blast of electric guitar noise, then connects the dots between NYC hip-hop lyrical brilliance and the equally ghoulish Crescent City literary tradition that predated it. Andrews finds room to comment sardonically on other similarities between the cities: we’ve got Rikers, they’ve got Angola.
Chariot, the first of three tracks feautring Ivan Neville, updates a classic spiritual theme over graceful, churchy organ and gently echoey electric piano. Bad By Myself – as in “I can do bad by myself, I don’t need nobody’s help” – struts along on a mid-70s funk groove, Andrews hitting a peak with a growling trombone solo over a river of organ. A vamping take of the gospel clapalong Didn’t It Rain “features” Mahalia Jackson by way of brief samples at the beginning and end.
The album’s title track builds to a triumphant, organ-fueled Muscle Shoals sway pushed along by guest Jamison Ross behind the kit. The instrumental Kool Breeze goes back to a biting 70s funk vibe, with wryly conversational horns, snapping bass and trebly guitar building to a catchy, anthemic chorus that brings to mind mid-70s Stevie Wonder. Speaking of that guy, that’s who Andrews nicks on the next track, Movin’ Up, delivering a grittily impassioned song of praise over some familiar AM radio changes.
The down-and-dirty, funky Lower Power ponders the lure of various temptations and features some wailing guitar work from guest Anders Osborne. With its tumbling beat, burning guitars, suspenseful pauses and Andrews’ hoarsely insistent delivery, You Don’t Know blends a classic Rolling Stones edge with an oldschool call-and-response theme. Something to Believe In has just bass, vocals and percussion, winding up the album with an aptly rustic storefront church ambience. All this more than hints that Andrews is a real powerhouse when he has an audience to testify to.