Enjoyed this article? Subscribe to our newsletter

Music Review: NIGEL’S DREAM from Tuba Skinny


I had the fortune, many years back, of discovering Tuba Skinny’s music through a google and facebook search of local New Orleans bands. Playing a range of jazz from the early decades of the 20th Century, Tuba Skinny swings in the hearts, minds and feels of anyone who has ever been late on paying bills, been heartbroken or is slap happy for no good reason – back when such conditions were “quirks” and not medically diagnosable “problems”. They are my go-to for when I need podcast theme music and I love them so.

Their ninth available album, Nigel’s Dream, now for download on their Bandcamp page, continues their street side fair of jazz performance, albeit with two new exceptions; little to no Erika Lewis and it all sounds right off the record needle.

Erika Lewis has been the main vocal artist for the band since their debut self-titled album and, while just one member of this diverse and talented group, was a main selling point for me. Her voice evokes for me heartache and boisterous joy all in the same pitch and perhaps coming from one another via an array of experiences. Here, she’s only heard on tracks 5 and 13. Every other song is primarily instrumental, with some lyrics sung by guitarist Greg Sherman. Erika is definitely a missing piece here, with some repetition going on that she could’ve roughed out. By no means does that massively hinder the album, but it does expose some slight moments of “same old”.

My speculative brain wanders and wonders a bit, only to forget when listening to the silent film like scored action of “Jazz Battle”, track 8. I remember when The Prytania presented a screening of Beau Geste with New Leviathan Foxtrot Orchestra performing live on stage. I must’ve been the youngest moviegoer in the room, by far. “Jazz Battle” could easily be featured on a work from master comedian Harold Lloyd or the well-timed mechanics of Buster Keaton. It’s a catchy tune that ramps up as it reminds one of Mickey Mouse steering a Steamboat down river.

I want roman candy when playing Tuba Skinny. I want to feel the humidity and drink some lemonade. I want to sit on my porch and smell the air as the brass notes and washboard go through one ear and out the other. Nigel’s Dream is more of the same nostalgia for a time its audience has never lived in, the very music we come to expect from this great band. And that’s ok. There’s nothing to cry about here.

RATING: 4 / 5  

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey y'all,

I just wanted to provide an update to where we stand today. A few days ago, we launched a fundraising effort to keep Big a Easy Magazine alive. We determined we would need to raise $10,000, which represents 1/10 of the personal investment I made into the publication. As it stands now, we have raised just over $300 and have set a fundraising deadline of midnight June 1st. Please help us meet our goal. I promise you with your support if we reach our goal, you will be able to continue seeing progressive content about the issues that matter. If we don’t meet our goal, well, in all honesty, those who have an interest in our demise will have won the battle. When we launched the fundraising effort, we got bombarded with remarks such as “see ya,” and “lol.” We cannot allow them to win. Please donate today to keep us alive and support progressive media.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Publisher
Big Easy Magazine


Time Left to Donate:

Share this Article

One thought on “Music Review: NIGEL’S DREAM from Tuba Skinny

Comments are closed.