Hot 8 Brass Band, Tombstone (TruThoughts)

Hot 8 Brass Band, Tombstone, album cover

A sense of sincerity prevails in the Hot 8’s latest release. The lyrics come from the heart, the rhythm from the street, and the all-for-one musical attitude stems from the soul. The Hot 8 has been through so much—the loss of four members and the hardships following Katrina. Enduring these adversities seems to have furthered the group’s ability to express its emotions through its music.

Tombstone, a somber name for a vibrant album, begins with a quiet lament that moves to an optimistic groove. The ensuing poetic rap speaks of the band’s history and remembers those artists who passed with the lyrics: “So through the music we keep you alive, through humor, eternal life.”

Humorously, screeching crow calls—like the bird, you know—open up several cuts alerting folks, much as a trumpet blast might do, that it’s time to start the party. There’s plenty of fun on this disc and it’s easy to imagine a second line sashaying from curb to curb on the solid roll of “Big Girl.”

“We’re Goin’ Make It” states the Hot 8’s case while great grunts and the pulse of the tuba push the band forward. “If we all get along, we’re goin’ make it,” is sung and then turned into a rap.

“We ain’t hatin’, we’re just Hot 8-in’,” the band declares on a well-performed and produced album that, despite its title, is full of life.