Trombone Shorty, "Backatown"

89 Billboard Rating

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, a 24-year-old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from New Orleans, labels his gumbo recipe of funk, rock, R&B and hip-hop as "supafunkrock." Forget the label. The bottom line on Trombone Shorty's "Backatown" is the infectious, booty-shaking music and his 100-proof, aged-in-soul vocals. Backed by his band, Orleans Avenue, and such guests as Lenny Kravitz and Allen Toussaint, the horn prodigy (he's been playing since he was 3) concocts an intoxicating brew of instrumental and vocal tracks, beginning with the energetic, second-line vibe of opener "Hurricane Season." Then there's his combustible take on Toussaint's "On Your Way Down," accompanied by the piano-playing legend himself. Other standouts include the percolating title track (named for Shorty's Treme neighborhood, the focus of HBO's new series of the same title) and the soulful ballad "Fallin'," co-written with PJ Morton. The gritty, high-energy sound of "Backatown" will have you dancing out of your seat as you search for Trombone Shorty's nearest live show. --Gail Mitchell

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