Glen David Andrews, Redemption. From the horror show of gambling, addiction, robbery, “dreams of demons in my sleep” and “NY to Nola” to the uplifting, cool, finger-snapped take on Curtis Mayfield’s “Something to Believe In,” Glen David Andrews finds “Redemption” in the mix of soul, funk, gospel, R&B, brass bands and jazz that is the music of New Orleans, his city.
A powerhouse vocalist whose rough baritone can be sanctified one minute, seductive the next and sometimes flat scary, Andrews seizes the heart of every song, whether the gospel-inflected “Chariot” and “Didn’t It Rain” with its sample of Mahalia Jackson or the pure funk of “Bad by Myself,” on which he’s joined by Ivan Neville.
While telling his stories of “Surrender” and despair (the throbbing “Lower Power”), the music is killer, with Andrews and his trombone cutting loose on the instrumental “Kool Breeze (Glen’s Season)” then cooling out with percussion and horns for the spiritual “Movin’ Up.”
Andrews, a cousin of Trombone Shorty who lives in the Treme neighborhood and was on the HBO show, embodies the real sanctified New Orleans on “Redemption,” which is just the gift it conveys. Grade: B+
-- L. Kent Wolgamott