In New Orleans, a brass band is a mobile party. Just thinking the words "second line" conjures up mental images of tubas, trombones, trumpets and saxes parading down the street, beckoning people out of their homes to join their footsteps to the rhythm of the drums, until an entire neighborhood — or entire city — is in lockstep, shouting and twirling through the streets in a timeless act of musical catharsis. What kind of magical mayhem can Houston expect, then, when two of the world's best purveyors of Crescent City marching music descend on us on the same night, within a stone's throw of each other? Representing the deep traditions of marching brass, Rebirth Brass Band is arguably the definitive modern link to the genre's past. When the members strap on bass and snare drums, swing those horns from side to side, and let loose a torrent of traditional marching numbers, spirituals, ragtime stomps and heavily funk-inflected originals, it's almost impossible not to be mentally transported to the streets of the French Quarter. Relative newcomers Soul Rebels channel the spirit of that same tradition, but through seemingly contradictory, yet beautifully complementary, styles as R&B and hip-hop, creating a home-brewed party sound of funky proportions.
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