Horace Trahan, Until the End (Independent)

51eehjdeodl-_ss500Until the End marks the final chapter of Horace Trahan’s conceptual trilogy that began with 2010’s Keep Walking and continued with 2012’s All the Way. The title track cleverly concatenates all the titles to result in “we gotta keep walking yeah all the way until the end.” It’s another way of saying live life to its fullest but with plenty of “bon temps” in between.

“Bottom of the Boot” seconds that party vibe with an aptly described outdoor gathering replete with a raging bonfire, a simmering blackpot and “Cornbread” blaring on the radio. Trahan adds to the Mardi Gras repertoire with “Horace’s Mardi Gras,” which is somewhat African-sounding with Doug Garb’s piercing flute lines. With its comical, tongue-twisting lines, “Big Booty Judy” exhibits unstoppable grooves with electrifying accordion, saxophone and guitar rides.

But with this release, Trahan specializes in attention-grabbing songs like the cranking zydeco number “Legalize It,” an obvious pro-weed nod that has been a live staple for years. The opening line of the country weeper “Three Steps Behind” is initially startling when Trahan sings about quitting those goddamned pain pills and crystal meth but can’t abandon drinking and cigarettes. On the utopian “Stars Up Above,” he asks if money is the root of all evil, then why do churches beg for it?

To play it safe, Trahan released two versions of this disc, the family-friendly edition sans the weed and G-damned country tracks and the full version that’s still FCC clean. But as an artist, Trahan’s always at his best when he’s uncensored.