If some of these tunes sound vaguely familiar, there’s good reason. Only five tracks on Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble’s fifth CD are new; the rest (“Country Boy,” “Zydeco Cutie,” “Curley 2 Step”) are legacy staples re-recorded to match their hard-hitting live show intensity since they’ve evolved substantially since the band’s 2003 inception.
The new songs dovetail perfectly with the revamped material. “Everybody’s Goin (To the Trailride)” is the most rollicking, especially given Shelby “Get Money” Johnson’s zealous rapping performance about the much anticipated event. The keyboard-crunchy title track is the most socially significant since it deviates from the prevailing love-party atmosphere with a message of rising above the haters of the world. Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” is the only cover of this baker’s dozen affair and its arrangement is somewhat surprising. It’s not full-on dreadlock-skankin’ zydeco, though Ray Mouton’s guitar riffs do add a Caribbean flavor. Instead it blossoms into a beautiful, lush zyde-soul ballad.
For the uninitiated, Rise Up is the perfect portal into Taylor’s signature brand of hipster zydeco. For long-time listeners and dancers, he’s never sounded better.