Homegrown, The New Orleans Catahoulas’ debut album, is as much the band’s mission statement as it is a collection of expertly executed tunes. The group’s mission is to bring New Orleans R&B back to its classic 1950s and ’60s roots.
Bandleader/bass player Joshua Gouzy has put together an all-star lineup with legendary drummer Gerald French from The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, trumpet player Kevin Louis from Preservation Hall and The Palm Court Jazz Cafe, Earl and Oliver Bonie from The Jazz Vipers on tenor and baritone sax, Steve DeTroy from Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s Roadmasters playing piano, and Bert Cotton from Bonerama and Funk Monkey on guitar. You simply can’t lose with personnel like that.
“High Heel Sneakers,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Down Home Girl,” “My Babe,” and “Walking to New Orleans,” are solid, almost legally required choices to introduce the band as a classic New Orleans R&B outfit. Their version of “Shrimp and Gumbo” is as legit New Orleans as it gets, so is their parade-ready version of “Tootie Ma.” “Bourbon Street Parade” gets a Booker-esque treatment, and Albert “Papa” French’s “Bald Headed Beulah” keeps things all in the French family.
Recorded live at The New Orleans Mint, it’s an infectiously energetic, groovin’ album from a band that is sure to become a fixture in this town.