Funkier than the Radiators, more rockin’ than the Neville Brothers, jazzier than James Brown, and able to leap tall levees in a single bound, the New Orleans Suspects ARE truly a Supergroup. Skeptics need only survey the Suspect’s stupendous resumes:
Drummer “Mean” Willie Green’s unique attack defined funk drumming for a quarter of a century with the Neville Brothers; sax player Jeff Watkins was James Brown’s musical director for twelve years; guitarist/vocalist Jake Eckert hails from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band; keyboardist/vocalist CR Gruver was a jam monster in Outformation; and Reggie Scanlan was The Radiators’ bassist for their 33-1/3-year run, after backing legends James Booker and Professor Longhair.
The latest evidence of the Suspects acumen is their new release “Ouroboros,” named for the ancient icon depicting a serpent eating its own tail. For the Suspects the Ouroboros symbolizes their continual recreation of New Orleans music – an inextinguishable force always being renewed and reborn. Indeed “Ouroboros” is a masterful, modern compendium of New Orleans stylings. It has fever-inducing funk, irresistible R&B rhythms, Longhair rhumbas, dancing-in-the-street second lines, jazzy soul-drenched horns, mind-melting swamp hoodoo, and feet-don’t-fail-me-now Carnivale music, all performed by a band in a class all their own – five musicians with the experience and versatility rivaling any band that New Orleans has ever produced.