Rock With The Hot 8

REVIEW by Willard Manus

If you were lucky enough to be in New Orleans last Mardi Gras, you would have caught the Hot 8 leading the Zulu Parade down Canal Street. Disciples of the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth Brass Bands, Hot 8 brings the sensibility of the hip-hop generation to the marching-band tradition, making something new out of the old (but without thumbing its nose at the past). The proof is on ROCK WITH THE HOT 8, a CD just released by Louisiana Red Hot Records. The CD's thirteen cuts give plenty of room for the band to show its versatility and range. Mixing rap, funk, dixieland, Marvin Gaye covers, hip-hop and reggae beats, Hot 8 lives up to its name while proving, once again, that New Orleans music is different from any other on earth.

The band, comprised of teenagers and seasoned pros, plays with freedom and abandon throughout, with hard-driving trumpets and trombones blaring over snare, bass drum and tuba beats. With its spirited vocals sung by guys named Big Peter, Swamp Thang and Shot Gun Joe, how could this record be anything but immensely enjoyable? (Call 800-329-7664 or visit