To download a free MP3 of the Red Stick Ramblers' "Made in the Shade," click here.
The fourth and latest album by the Red Stick Ramblers makes two things abundantly clear: One is that it is entirely possible for a band to effectively mine the traditional music of Louisiana without sounding like it’s mired in the past; the other is that the Ramblers, at their very core, are a dance band—a quintet whose artistry recalls a time when musicians could, upon request, serve up just about anything from the bandstand that was needed to keep the party in full swing. Made in the Shade, the Ramblers’ fourth album, hammers home all of this and more, and it firmly showcases the band’s groove-laden stylistic gumbo of Cajun, Western swing, blues, and pre-War jazz. Besides befitting the band’s Baton Rouge roots, their sound feels comfortable and familiar. The twin fiddles of Linzy Young and Kevin Wimmer are the driving forces behind the earthy sonic template, but this is by no means a two-man show: Guitarist Chas Justus demonstrates an undeniable flair for coaxing tasteful, jazzy lines from his Gibson ES-150, and the band’s many wide grooves—propelled by bassist Eric Frey and drummer Glenn Fields—give this album an ambience that, from the opening title track on, is firmly in the 21st century. Guaranteed to make your feet move.