The Heavyweights Brass Band

Stir Crazy
(Slammin Media)

The Heavyweights Brass Brand wants us to let our hair down. With Stir Crazy, we are invited to let go and enter a space of celebration. It is its fourth album, recorded mere days before the world shut down in 2020, and the music feels relevant now as much as ever — for those who are seeking a bit of release.

The record features traditional brass band sounds, those made famous in New Orleans, and spread throughout the land. In this case all the way to Toronto, where the band is based and has produced seven albums of material aimed at delivering NoLa danceability with Great North style. The recording was made in three days at Union Sound Station in Toronto in March of 2020, right before the pandemic forced the band into hybernation.

While the Heavyweights focus on that New Orleans sound, there are also unique moments where popular music gets re-interpreted and folded into that sound.

The band is perhaps at its most exciting when diving into these moments. There is Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” a tune made famous by R&B vocalist Roberta Flack. Then the album ends with an inspired cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” The originals shine, too, with saxophonist Paul Metcalfe and tubist Tom Richards sharing the principal compositional duties.

It is a fun time. Though it might leave you wishing that the party had lasted a bit longer, there’s just enough there to shake off the last bit of stir craziness.

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