Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
The beloved bandleader, singer/songwriter and horn-blower Trombone Shorty has teamed up with MLB to record a special version of "Here Come the Girls" - updated to "Here Come the Boys" - to celebrate the return of baseball. "Here Come the Girls" is the lead single from his latest album Parking Lot Symphony, which is due out April 28. MLB Network will be featuring "Here Come the Boys" throughout Opening Week.
Trombone Shorty, born Troy Andrews, opens his new album with a dirge. But if you think Andrews came here to mourn, you got it all wrong. That bit of beautiful New Orleans soul shows off our host's roots before Parking Lot Symphony branches out - wildly, wonderfully, funkily - across its 12 diverse cuts. This album contains multitudes of sound - from brass band blare and deep-groove funk, to bluesy beauty and hip-hop/pop swagger - and plenty of emotion all anchored by stellar playing and the idea that, even in the toughest of times, as Andrews says, "Music brings unity."
As for why it's taken Andrews so long to follow 2013's Say That to Say This, the man simply says, "I didn't realize so much time passed. Some artists don't work until they put a record out but I never stopped going." In the last four years, Andrews banked his fifth White House gig; backed Macklemore and Madonna at the Grammys; played on albums by She & Him, Zac Brown, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Ronson; opened tours for Daryl Hall & John Oates and Red Hot Chili Peppers; appeared in Foo Fighters' "Sonic Highways" documentary series; voiced the iconic sound of the adult characters in "The Peanuts Movie"; inherited the esteemed annual fest-closing set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; and released "Trombone Shorty," a children's book about his life that was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 2016.
Parking Lot Symphony, his Blue Note Records debut, finds Andrews teamed with Grammy-nominated producer Chris Seefried and an unexpected array of cowriters and players including members of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Meters, Better Than Ezra, and Dumpstaphunk. Considering Andrews' relentless schedule, it's all the more surprising that this LP began with him in a room, all alone, back in New Orleans.
"I had two weeks at home so I went to the studio and set up the 'playground,'" he recalls. "I had everything in a circle: tuba, trombone, trumpet, keyboard, Fender Rhodes, Wurly, B3 organ, guitar, bass, drums - and me buried in the middle." He recorded an album's worth of ideas and then, well, walked away for a year. During this time he hit the road to see how the music changed. When Andrews came back with a full band, the songs came to life.
That's not unusual for a man raised in one of the Tremé's most musical families. Andrews got his name when he picked up his instrument at four ("My parents pushed me toward trombone because they didn't need another trumpet player," he says with a laugh). By eight, he led his own band in parades, halls and even bars. In his teens, Andrews played shows abroad with the Neville Brothers. Fresh out of high school he joined Lenny Kravitz' band. Over that time, three Trombone Shorty albums and many collaborations since, Andrews nurtured a voracious appetite for all types of music - a phenomenon on fluid display with Parking Lot Symphony.
Parking Lot Symphony might be the man's most heartfelt offering yet. The title track is as much about walking the Tremé, being uplifted by the music that seems to seep from every surface, as it is about moving on from a broken heart. And "No Good Time" reminds us that "nobody never learned nothin' from no good time."
But Andrews is clear that this isn't some kind of breakup record. "It's a life record," he says, "about prevailing no matter what type of roadblock is in front of you."