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Love Songs

by Uncle Nef

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about

Drummer Shannon Powell stands tall in the lineage of New Orleans’ rhythmic giants; he is a torchbearer of the city’s culture and one of the finest drummers in the world. He’s also a great singer, his vocals invoking styles that echo the churches, street parades and jazz clubs of his hometown. Known for his contributions to traditional and modern jazz idioms, having worked with Danny Barker, Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis, Powell is also a veteran of New Orleans' rich rhythm and blues scene having backed up such greats as Snooks Eaglin, Earl King and Dr. John.

Darren Hoffman is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer originally from Miami, Florida. He grew up playing guitar in his youth, greatly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and Nirvana, but switched to drums when he was bit by the jazz bug in his early twenties and relocated in 2007 to study percussion at the University of New Orleans.

Hoffman began hanging out with Powell at places like Donna’s Bar & Grill on Rampart Street; the pair hit it off and began a friendship that ventured far from the classroom. While Shannon guided Darren in music and street-smart professionalism, Hoffman introduced Powell to new technologies and 21st century music industry practices. While many students of music today study almost entirely in the world of academia, Darren had the unique experience of being mentored by a living legend in a more traditional way, doing odd jobs and handling business for Shannon in exchange for knowledge and musical guidance.

When Darren enrolled at UNO, he had all but forgotten the guitar, focusing on his career as a professional drummer. One afternoon in 2009, Darren pulled out his guitar and jammed through some blues tunes with Shannon. Taken aback by what he heard, Shannon proclaimed, “Man! We gotta record!” This chance riff resulted in the 2017 release simply entitled Blues, a stripped down interpretation of raw blues with a modern edge. The success of that record led to a natural progression toward their new collaboration, Love Songs. Here we find Powell and Hoffman stretching out, but not relaxing at all. The mood is highly charged and powerful, with Powell hitting hard and Hoffman shredding like a chainsaw on razor wire. There are some subtle love songs on Love Songs, but many tracks that speak to the full experience of love - the energy, the tension, the elation and the agony. Classic tracks are included to keep the concept in context - Caledonia, St James Infirmary to name a couple - with originals both fun and frenzied mixed in. It’s a wonder to see this unlikely Uncle/Nephew duo chart new territory with full appreciation of the past.

credits

released April 19, 2019

Track 1 - “That Was That”
Written by Darren Hoffman
Vocal Arrangements by Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony
Shannon Powell - Drums & Lead Vocal
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony - Supporting Vocals
Morgan Guerin - Saxophone
Paul David Longstreth - Organ

Track 2 - “Cabrito”
Written by Darren Hoffman
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Shannon Powell - Drums

Track 3 - “Beat To Eat”
Written by Darren Hoffman, Shannon Powell & Paul David Longstreth
Shannon Powell - Drums & Lead Vocal
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony - Supporting Vocals
Morgan Guerin - Alto and Tenor Saxophone
Paul David Longstreth - Electric Organ

Track 4 - “Jam 292”
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Kyle Roussel - Electric Organ
Shannon Powell - Drums

Track 5 - “It Hurts”
Written by Darren Hoffman
String Arrangements by Abby Swidler
Darren Hoffman - Guitars & Vocals
Abby Swidler - Violin & Viola
Kristen Dymala - Cello
Shannon Powell - Drums & Percussion
Morgan Guerin - Additional Percussion

Track 6 - “Caldonia”
Written by Louis Jordan (Credited as Fleecie Moore)
Arranged by Shannon Powell
Vocal Arrangements by Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony
Shannon Powell - Drums & Lead Vocal
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony - Supporting Vocals
Morgan Guerin - Saxophone
Paul David Longstreth - Electric Organ

Track 7 - “A-Side”
Written by Darren Hoffman, Parker McAllister, Morgan Guerin & Eitan Aktman
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Kyle Roussel - Electric Organ
Shannon Powell - Drums

Track 8 - “Sick & Tired”
Written by Fats Domino
Arranged by Shannon Powell
Shannon Powell - Drums & Vocals
Kyle Roussel - Piano
Darren Hoffman - Guitar

Track 9 - “So Alone”
Written by Darren Hoffman
Shannon Powell - Drums and Vocals
Darren Hoffman - Guitars

Track 10 - "tourette's"
Written by Kurt Cobain
Arranged by Darren Hoffman & Shannon Powell
Darren Hoffman - Guitar
Shannon Powell - Drums

Track 11 - “St. James Infirmary Blues”
Traditional
Arranged by Darren Hoffman & Shannon Powell
Vocal Arrangements by Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony
Shannon Powell - Drums & Lead Vocal
Darren Hoffman - Guitars
Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony - Supporting Vocals
Paul David Longstreth - Organ

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