Los Po-Boy-Citos, New Orleans Latin Soul (Independent)

We’ve waited for the post-Katrina influx of Latinos to be felt in New Orleans music, and despite the album title, we’re still waiting. These are a bunch of white guys and likely crate diggers; rather than scouring bins of used vinyl for Northern Soul, R&B and funk, they’ve spent their time in search of boogaloo. The results are as unstuck in time as any Dap-Kings project, but Los Po-Boy-Citos successfully evoke a version of Latin dance music from days gone by. They play their finds, mixing songs by better known artists—Willie Lobo, Mongo Santamaria—with obscurities, and to make it New Orleans-centric, they give an Afro-Cuban vibe to “Big Chief” and “Mother-in-Law.” They’re up to the challenge of the material and rhythmically crisp, and they’re smart enough to work to their strengths. The songs are largely instrumental, and the occasional vocals are unison sung/shouted lines that punctuate the song more than they carry a thought. I look forward to them writing in their genre and being more than a cover band working semi-obscure territory, but they work it well enough to make listening to see what they’ll do next entertaining.