friend were going to perform at the Heritage Festival a few weeks later, and they hoped I could come. What was their music like, I asked. "It's mostly mantras," she answered. "But we do them with a reggae beat." "Yup," I thought to myself. "This place has still got it."
The Dixie Power Trio has got what makes New Orleans music special, too even if these musicians do come from Fredericksburg, Virginia. The tradition all hangs together, and it absorbs everything new that comes along. There are Dixieland revival bands all over, but maybe you haven't heard one like the Dixie Power Trio it's about living tradition, not nostalgia. On its latest album, The Virgil Sessions, the group offers early jazz classics, a tango, straight blues, zydeco from out in the swamps, Cajun music, ruminative Jelly Roll Morton-type vocals, an Allen Toussaint-style funk ode to the titular auto mechanic ("Virgil under the Hood") who repaired their van after they broke down on the way to a gig one time, newer layers of jazz, and still more. It all seems to flow straight from a single source, and it's terrific fun.