Backatown (Verve Forecast)

Trombone Shorty

Released April 20, 2010

Grammy Nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album 2011




Backatown represents Andrews’s national and major label debut. The tracks “In the 6th”, “Hurricane Season” and “Backatown” pay homage to the culture and neighborhoods of New Orleans, Andrews hometown. He refers to his diverse musical style as ‘supafunkrock’.

“What we tried to do with the record is capture what we do live and then just tighten it up a little bit, make it translate on record. Live, we may come across some stuff and jam on it, but the record brings it in and focuses on what we needed to do. We worked hard and we didn’t rush it. I think we alright with this one.”

Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews

Track Listing:

1. Hurricane Season (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews) 3:20

2. On Your Way Down (Allen Toussaint) 3:36

3. Quiet as Kept (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews) 3:05

4. Something Beautiful (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Ryan Montbleau) 3:42

5. Backatown (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews) 2:47

6. Right to Complain (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / PJ Morton) 2:56

7. Neph (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews) 3:02

8. Suburbia (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Mike Ballard / Pete Murano / Joey Peebles) 3:19

9. In the 6th (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Dan Oestreicher) 3:17

10. One Night Only (The March) (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Ryan Montbleau) 2:49

11. Where Y’ At (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Clarence Slaughter) 2:59

12. Fallin’ (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / PJ Morton) 3:46

13. The Cure (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Mike Ballard / Pete Murano) 3:39

14. 928 Horn Jam (Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews / Dan Oestreicher / Clarence Slaughter / Dwayne Williams) 0:55


Trombone Shorty: trombone, trumpet, drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals

Dan Oestreicher: baritone saxophone

Clarence Slaughter: flute, saxophone

Pete Murano: guitar

Mike Ballard: bass guitar

Joey Peebles: drums

Dwayne Williams: percussion

Guest musicians

Lenny Kravitz: guitar solo, backing vocals (4)

Allen Toussaint: piano (2)

Marc Broussard: additional vocals (6)

Charles Smith: synthesized bass (3, 5)

Recorded September, 2009, at Number C Studios, New Orleans, LA; additional recording at Shorty’s Studio, New Orleans, LA. 
Marc Broussard’s vocals recorded at Dockside Studios, Maurice, LA
Lenny Kravitz’s vocals and guitar recorded at Gregory Town Sound, Eleuthra, Bahamas

Producer: Ben Ellman

Mixed and Mastered by Count

Executive producer: Mike Kappus

Co-executive producers: Dave Barlett and Matt Cornell

Engineered by Ben Ellman except:

Vocal engineering on “Fallin'” and “Hurricane Season”: Mike Ballard

Vocal engineering on “One Night Only (The March)”: Charles Smith

Engineering on “On Your Way Down”: Ben Ellman with Kyle Lamy

Engineering on Lenny Kravitz’s vocals and guitar: Alexander Alvarez and T-Bone Edmonds

Engineering on Marc Broussard’s vocals: Korey Richey

Photography: Kirk Edwards

Art direction: Vartan

Design: Kevin Reagan


Backatown, the Verve debut from New Orleans composer, bandleader, and trombone and trumpet boss Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, was one of the most hotly anticipated recordings of 2010. Given the well-deserved reputation Andrews and his Orleans Avenue band have for incendiary live performances, one had to wonder if it would translate in their studio offerings for independent labels. It didn’t because they’d never had the budget to get the vibe right. Backatown is the first time that Orleans Avenue — Dwayne “Big D” Williams (percussion), Mike Ballard (bass), Joey Peebles (drums), Pete Murano (guitar), and Dan Oestreicher (baritone sax) — have had an actual budget to capture the Trombone Shorty experience, and they’ve made a studio record that offers a real taste of the live show’s excitement. Shorty calls his music “supafunkrock,” and it’s an accurate term for the aural gumbo on this fingerpopping, butt-shakin’ mix set. Produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman, it contains 13 Shortyoriginals and an original interpretation of Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down,” on which Toussaint plays piano. The set is titled for a term used by residents of the Treme neighborhood in the city’s 6th Ward — the oldest black neighborhood in America. It definitely sounds like it was recorded in a proper recording studio (Number C and Shorty’s Gumbo Room in N.O.) but transcends those confines. It crackles and burns with an unburdened, unfettered, passionate live feel. Clocking in at 43 minutes, it opens with “Hurricane Season.” It commences with a marching rhythm on snare and bass drum followed by Andrews playing a trumpet vamp. It kicks into dancing gear with one of the nastiest, funkiest basslines since Parliament’s “Flash Light,” followed by horn vamps, big power chords, and drum kit breaks that are infectious. “Quiet as Kept” combines Ballard’s bass with guest Charles Smith’s synthesized bassline, honking baritone sax, grimy distorted electric guitars and trombones, percussion, and organ for a monster funk workout. Former Andrews boss Lenny Kravitz guests on guitar and backing vox on “Something Beautiful,” which weds hip-hop, rock, and neo-soul. The rockist power chords on “Right to Complain” underscore Andrews duetting with Marc Broussard on an anthem that reflects the need for personal transformation in order to solve community problems. Proof of Andrews’ vocal prowess is everywhere, but especially on the modern soul ballad “Fallin.” That said, it’s the instrumentals with their drum-heavy, cracking on-the-one funk and second-line rhythms that keep the the entire album moving and grooving — check out “Neph,” “In the Sixth,” and closer “928 Horn Jam.” But the rockers — “Suburbia,” “Where Y’ At,” and “The Cure” — meld metallic guitars, second-line, and funky breaks, hip-hop and jazz seamlessly and are equally potent and satisfying. Backatown is everything popular American music should be; yet it’s also what sets Andrews and Orleans Avenue, and New Orleans music in general, apart, without compromise. This is a Best of 2010 candidate hands down.

Thom Jurek (Allmusic)