Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue put on two soul crushing shows at the brand new 500-person capacity Brooklyn Made stage to start this week. The club just opened on September 30 and this was the band’s third and most intimate New York show this year, having performed in Rochester at Manhattan Square Park in August and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in September.
New Orleans legend Tony Hall told NYS Music in August about Troy Andrews. “We have known Shorty since he was young. Coming up he’s always been extremely bad ass. In the beginning he used to do some shows with us and then did his own shit. Then blew up. He’s the man and puts on a hell of a show. Phenomenal player on the trumpet and trombone. It’s like nobody can touch him. But he also plays everything else like drums, keyboards and sings.”
The Orleans Avenue Band – guitarists Pete Murano and Joshua Connelly, sax-men Dan Osteicher and BK Jackson, drummer Joey Peebles and bassist Mike Ballard, and vocalist Tracci Lee – all took center stage at Brooklyn Made on top of the speakers throughout the show. They made the new Bushwick club feel like the historic Tipitinas in New Orleans.
Shorty opened the show asking for assistance in getting his heart back on “Where it At?” “I tried to find you, baby, did my best, But love don’t come with any GPS.” They brought it from the East River to the Mississippi with a Meters cover of “It Ain’t No Use” and Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down.” Trust me when I tell you their approach on these tunes was truly an explosive expression on funk classics. The Shorty original “The Craziest Thing” is another call out to the lovers in the crowd. “Ask me to bring you the moon, I’ll put the sky in your room, I’ll die trying.” The highlight of the night occurred during the Ernie K. Doe New Orleans classic “Here Come the Girls.”
Mid-groove on “Uncle Potato Chip,” sax player Dan O took the song to another galaxy and back on baritone before the closing verse. “Fire on the Bayou” helped keep the Cajun sounds sizzling.
Trombone Shorty first took the stage at four years old with Bo Diddley at the 1990 New Orleans Jazzfest. 31 years later he was bouncing his solos off all the other band members like a true front man. It also came as no surprise that sax player BK Jackson used to play with Prince. Joey Peebles took his only break of neo soul drum beats for the night, with Mike Ballard and Shorty sharing syncopated bass and trumpet solos on stage that took you back to Birdland.
Vocalist Tracci Lee’s backing soul helped bring every song full circle exchanging tambourines throughout. Guitarists Joshua Connelly and Pete Murano electricity was directly plugged into your head on the Brooklyn Made stage. Tuesday night’s show had a Red Hot Chili Peppers musical intro as a nod to his tour with the group in 2016 opening for them at Madison Square Garden and Buffalo’s KeyBank Center. He brought the crowd back to his first record Backatown with the track “Suburbia.”
Ray Charles’ classic “I Got A Woman” on Tuesday night was a standout as well. In true New Orleans fashion, they closed both nights with Shorty’s “Hurricane Season” mixed with “When the Saints Go Marching In” that sent the crowd strutting back into the Bushwick scene.
A Monday and Tuesday night with Trombone Shorty at Brooklyn Made like this really made his tune “Long Weekend” resonate – “Cause you never know what could happen on a long weekеnd…” Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue head back to New Orleans on Monday, October 11 for his first ever “Shorty Fest.”