Trombone Shorty Brings Pure New Orleans Swagger to House of Blues

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Soul Rebels Brass Band House of Blues November 30, 2014

On Episode 6 of Dave Grohl's new HBO series Sonic Highways, a four-year-old Troy Andrews is shown onstage with the legendary Bo Diddley at New Orleans' annual Jazz Fest. From busking for tips in Jackson Square to now headlining his hometown's signature music festival as well as ACL and Voodoo Fest, the horn player known as Trombone Shorty has been involved in music at a high level for a very long time. Right away you can see and feel that he doesn't play for the money or fame...he plays due to a basic need to express himself and represent his hometown to the fullest.

With that tradition and mystique on hand, Sunday night Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue hit the stage at House of Blues with a furious swagger and mighty loud boom. Shorty performs as though he is part James Brown and part Jimi Hendrix, a virtuoso on the trombone and trumpet, with an unrivaled ability to get on up and get on the good foot.

He opened with "Do to Me," a track that rocked and rolled and warmed up the crowd something nice. The cool thing about his show was the variety of directions the sound traveled. From jazz to funk, rock to blues, calypso to Latin, and even hip-hop, Shorty and his band are equipped for everything. After jammin' the intro, he looked out and said, "I don't know about y'all, but the band and I are here to have some fun tonight!"

Whether in front of a couple of hundred fans such as last night or tens of thousands at the festivals, his show is always large and emotional. There is no such thing as a chill Trombone Shorty show. For him, it's all the way turned up all the time.

He joyously brings us the music from the Sixth Ward of New Orleans, which is were he grew up. With a wide smile, he danced around the stage as if possessed by the Mardi Gras holy spirit. "Can we make it funky for y'all?", he asked as the crowd screamed their approval.

He then led the band into a string of Cash Money Records and No Limit Records covers, from Juvenile's "Nolia Clap" to Mystikal's "Shake Ya Azz," and the show turned into a parade of fun and dance, with Shorty as the Grand Marshal. He then took the opportunity to slow it down and directed his baritone sax player to play a familiar bass line: the syrupy slow backbone of the H-Town rap classic "Still Tippin," bringing special guests Slim Thug and Paul Wall to the stage for an excellent moment indeed.

"This could only be done in HTown!", proclaimed the horn player.

And a horn player with this much soul could only hail from New Orleans.

So, How Was the Opener?Not that Trombone Shorty needed a warmup, but the Soul Rebels Brass Band made a helluva good one, showcasing their skills as one of the best brass-band combos to make it big over the last few years. They are a powerhouse of sound, playing fun covers of Kanye's "Touch the Sky" and the Beatles' "Come Together." They led the crowd into a dancealong and definitely set the stage for the headliner.

Story continues on the next page.

Personal Bias: New Orleans blues and jazz really put a spell on me.

The Crowd: Older but lively!

Overheard In the Crowd: "$25 shirts... not a bad deal compared to the damn drink prices!"

Random Notebook Dump: This was the first show I've shot/reviewed at House of Blues in months. It was good to be back!


When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Marco points his camera lens towards the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond. Follow his adventures on Instagram at @MarcoFromHouston.


The Ask Willie D Archives Top 10 Bars Where Your Dog Will Be Welcome, Too The 10 Worst Metal Bands of the '80s 25 Ways to Know You Spend Too Much Time in Montrose Houston's Top 10 Hookup Bars

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.