December 21, 2020
The New Orleans Nightcrawlers have been an active, vital collective for over two decades. Co-founders Matt Perrine and Kevin Clark are still with the group, which strives to further the spirit of the New Orleans brass band tradition while also remaining of the moment. Back in April, the group released Atmosphere, the first record from the Nightcrawlers since 2009’s Slither Slice. On November 24, the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that Atmosphere had been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Regional Roots Album category.
The group has long been a New Orleans staple. Its members have performed with Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Galactic and others. The group’s self-titled debut record was named Best Traditional Brass Band Album in the 1996 Offbeat Music Awards. Over the intervening years, the Nightcrawlers have built a reputation for their dynamic, high-energy live performances. In April of 2018 the Nightcrawlers gained additional national recognition by appearing on The Simpsons. In “Lisa Gets The Blues,” animated versions of the band members back Lisa Simpson on the song “Just a Little While to Stay Here.” In addition to Clark (trumpet) and Perrine (sousaphone), the group features Barney Floyd (trumpet), Caytanio Hingle (bass drum), Kerry “Fatman” Hunter (snare drum, cymbal), Craig Klein (trombone, vocals), Miles Lyons (trombone), Jason Mingledorff (tenor sax, clarinet) and Matt Perrine, and Brent Rose (tenor sax).
Atmosphere presents seven original songs written by band members, along with two covers, including Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom,” which was co-written by New Orleans resident (and Simpsons vocal talent) Harry Shearer. He notes, “Even if it didn’t include the best-ever cover of ‘Big Bottom’, the Nightcrawlers’ new collection has this exceptional brass band in furiously great shape, exploring new harmonies and sonorities for the traditional New Orleans instrumental format. No sitting allowed.”
Perrine tells Relix, “To have the opportunity to produce a record with the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, friends for over 20 years and industry heavies, was a dream come true. We spent a lot of time together in the making of this record to achieve a unified sound, an atmosphere, and it shows.”
Clark adds, “Atmosphere is a sonic masterpiece performed by world-class musicians, recorded in a world-class studio and we are thrilled that our efforts and hard work have been recognized by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).”
Today we premiere a video of a performance recorded live in the Crescent City at Rock ‘n’ Bowl.
HOLLYWOOD (Perfect Music Today) 12/15/20/–“Who’s in the band?” is often the first question asked by ardent music enthusiasts. When it comes to the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, the answer is “All ace players on the Crescent City’s jazz and brass band scene.”
Driving the ensemble on its Grammy-nominated release, Atmosphere, is the solid rhythm section with the mighty team of bass drummer Caytanio Hingle and snare man Kerry “Fatman” Hunter of the New Birth Brass Band plus the spectacularly lowdown sousaphonist Matt Perrine. They immediately get goin’ on the opener, “Gentilly Groove,” written by tenor saxophonist Brent Rose. Like many of the selections, it successfully incorporates the street beats that are core to brass band music and sophisticated modern jazz improvisation as heard here on Rose’s creative solo.
Impressively, several of the members of the band contribute original material with other tracks boasting New Orleans connections that stylistically go with the flow. For instance, trombonist Craig Klein vocally takes on Lee Dorsey’s rhythm and blues classic “Great Googa Mooga.” The ‘Crawlers show that they’ve done their essential homework in the traditions performing an oh-so-slow dirge, “Tomb Tune,” written by Klein, Jimmy Carpenter and the late great Wardell Quezergue. It includes some lovely clarinet from Jason Mingledorff that smartly leads right into his uptempo “Ursuline Second Line.”
Fans of the sousaphone should dig the appropriately titled “Big Bottom” that has Perrine joined by Klein and Wes Anderson Jr., known best as trombonists, on the jumbo horn. Emphasizing the lower end on this fun tune is guest, baritone saxophonist Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs.
The New Orleans Nightcrawlers fillAtmosphere with jumpin’ good-times, fine musicianship and a welcoming sense to join these old friends in the joy of music.
MAR 31, 2020 - 11:00 AM
New Orleans trombonist Craig Klein is accustomed to playing 30 or more gigs with various bands in a typical month. Thanks to the coronavirus shutdown, he isn’t playing any.
“To go from 100 mph to zero overnight is strange,” he said. “How do you even process that?”
As luck, or lack thereof, would have it, one of Klein’s longest-running projects, the all-star brass band New Orleans Nightcrawlers, had planned to release its first album in 11 years this spring. Even though the spring festival season has been canceled, the Nightcrawlers decided to go ahead and unveil "Atmosphere" anyway.
The new music is available on most digital platforms, as well as CD. It is also the first Nightcrawlers release on vinyl.
That all nine members of the band are in-demand musicians with many commitments — two also teach at the university level — getting together to write, rehearse and record isn’t easy.
But Nightcrawlers sousaphonist Matt Perrine, who produced “Atmosphere," believes it was important to conjure the camaraderie of the band’s early years. A series of relaxed rehearsals at saxophonist Brent Rose's house in Gentilly, for which Perrine and other band members cooked, were as much social gatherings as practices.
That spirit carried over to last year’s recording sessions for “Atmosphere” at Marigny Studios.
“The best way to make a record is when you have the right vibe and atmosphere,” Klein said. “We’d play, and eat, and play some more, and eat some more.”
The influence of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the patriarchs of contemporary New Orleans brass band music, looms large in the crisp musicianship, sophisticated arrangements and spirited execution of “Atmosphere.”
"The Dirty Dozen," Klein said, “is at the top of the pyramid, when you’re looking at guys who play modern brass band music." Appropriately, on "Atmosphere," the Nightcrawlers revive the late saxophonist Eric Traub’s “Glasshouse,” a tribute to the fabled nightspot where the Dirty Dozen held court for many years.
Perrine arranged the Nightcrawlers’ instrumental take on Spinal Tap’s heavy metal spoof “Big Bottom.” Here, the “big bottom” is not a derriere but a trio of sousaphones wielded by Perrine, Miles Lyons — who normally plays trombone in the Nightcrawlers — and special guest Wes Anderson Jr.
Perrine also arranged the Nightcrawlers’ version of “Great Googa Mooga,” by late great New Orleans vocalist Lee Dorsey; Klein sings it. The title of the album's opening track, "Gentilly Groove," refers to those well-fed rehearsals at Rose's house.
“Fatman,” by Rose, is an in-house tribute to Nightcrawlers snare drummer Kerry “Fatman” Hunter and bass drummer Tanio Hingle. The interlocked Hunter and Hingle, who formerly anchored the New Birth Brass Band, rank as one of the brass band genre's most renowned drum duos.
The dirge “Tomb Tune” was originally commissioned in 2010 for the funeral of local drummer and actor Bernard “Bunchy” Johnson. Klein, saxophonist Jimmy Carpenter and the late great New Orleans arranger Wardell Quezergue are credited as writers.
“Ursuline Second Line,” by saxophonist Jason Mingledorff, is the Nightcrawlers’ take on a traditional New Orleans jazz song, which tend to emphasize collective ensemble playing rather than individual soloing. The Nightcrawlers’ horns — Klein, Rose, Mingledorff, Lyons and trumpeters Barney Floyd and Kevin Clark — understand the craft. Gerald French helps out on bass drum, as he does on “Glasshouse.”
Mingledorff’s “Frenchmen Fiasco,” which was omitted from the vinyl version of the album because of space constraints, is a comment on the evolution, or devolution, of Frenchmen Street.
Perrine’s “The Lick” is based on a set of notes that have become a well-trod and much-mocked jazz cliché, "something of a musical meme,” he said. His song, which deploys more than a dozen variations on “the lick," is “a joke on top of a joke for my nerdy young musician friends.”
Writing such a song, Klein noted, “is a very Matt thing to do.”
To mix the recording, Perrine turned to Mike Napolitano, whose voluminous résumé as a producer and mixer included Ani DiFranco, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Blind Melon, Andrew Bird, Joseph Arthur, Garage a Trois, the Twilight Singers, Stanton Moore and many more — but no brass bands.
“I love brass band records,” Perrine said. “But I never want to make art that is repeating something that was done before. I wanted to work with someone who was super-bad ass, lived in New Orleans and had never done a brass band record.
“Mike wanted that cacophony of sound that he felt was essential to hearing a brass band live in New Orleans. He said he wanted to make sure it had 'atmosphere.' That word stuck with me.”
And gave the excellent "Atmosphere" its title.
Meaghan Clark Communications & Marketing
980-428-3602 - Meaghan Clark
504-957-6776 - Craig Klein
New Orleans Nightcrawlers Nominated for a 2020 Grammy Contemporary Brass Band
Acknowledged by Music Industry for Unique Contribution to Roots Music
New Orleans, Louisiana November 30, 2020:
The New Orleans Nightcrawlers, a brass band of some of the crescent city’s finest players have been nominated for a 2020 Grammy, in the Regional Roots category.
Founded in 1994, The New Orleans Nightcrawlers are comprised of 9 top-flight musicians with multiple full-time projects ranging from local brass bands to international touring outfits. 11 years after their last release (Slither Slice, 2009, Threadhead Records) these busy players found time to record a nine-song album, with seven songs by current and former band members (notably the late Eric Traub) and two cover songs.
“Atmosphere is a sonic masterpiece performed by world-class musicians, recorded in a world-class studio and we are thrilled that our efforts and hard work have been recognized by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS),” says co-founder Kevin Clark.“
To have the opportunity to produce a record with the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, friends for over 20 years and industry heavies, was a dream come true. We spent a lot of time together in the making of this record to achieve a unified sound, an atmosphere, and it shows,” says producer and co-founder Matt Perrine.
The New Orleans Nightcrawlers are:
Kevin Clark, trumpet – Cornetist/Bandleader/Producer Dukes of Dixieland; former trumpet with Pete Fountain; Fritzel’s All Star Band; Co-founder of Wine, Dine and Second Line-
Barney Floyd, trumpet - New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Ruth Brown, Bobby Charles, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown; Commanders Palace -
Caytanio Hingle, bass drum - Bandleader & drummer Newbirth Brass band; Olympia Brass Band; Preservation Hall Brass Band -
Kerry “Fatman” Hunter, snare drum - Original member of New Birth Brass band; Preservation Hall Brass band-
Craig Klein, trombone, vocals - Composer & Bandleader, Bonerama; Preservation Hall; formerly Harry Connick Jr. -
Miles Lyons, trombone - Tubist with the Youngblood Brass Band; DinoSaurchestra; Soul Brass Band; Storyville Stompers; AMP’d Brass Band.-
Jason Mingledorff, tenor sax, clarinet – Composer /Arranger-King James and the Special Men; The New Mastersounds; Assistant Professor of Music at Loyola University of New Orleans; former member of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Papa Grows Funk; Dr. John and the lower 911, Galactic.-
Matt Perrine, sousaphone, producer – Composer/ Arranger, original member & current tubist/bassist with Bonerama; original and current member of Tin Men; Aurora Nealand’s Royal Roses; Panorama Jazz Band, Last Waltz 40th Anniversary tours (featuring Warren Haynes, Don Was, Jamie Johnson, Cyril Neville, Dave Malone and more) -
Brent Rose, tenor sax - Director of Music Dept at the University of New Orleans; Chegadao; Muevelo; the New Birth Brass Band; the Jenn Howard band; Otra; Alex Marti & Urban Minds.
For more inquiries or media requests, please contact Meaghan Clark (980) 428-3602 or Craig Klein at (504) 957-6776 ###