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Bards of Melatonia
The Melatauns is an outstanding cast of working New Orleans funk, rock, and jazz musicians who have come together over the past four years to record as well as play a handful of special appearances a year. Many of the musicians can be found regularly playing at the premier New Orleans music spots on Frenchmen Street, as well as on local recordings. Jazz voices like Meschiya Lake are meshed with the lead vocals of group co-founder Pat Ricks to create an old-school groove that reveals a contemporary approach to the multitude of styles found throughout the album. The thumping bass of Robert Snow, fellow co-founder of the elite group, sets the ultimate tone for each tune; Snow leads the group by creating a tight pocket and fl owing communication between all members of the large community that makes up The Melatauns. The crunchiest funked-out tunes, like the albums last track, “9th Ward,” which displays the virtuosity of Ronnie Snow Jr. on lead guitar, are mixed in with border-line sixties-era rock classics like “Mr. DJ” for a perfect cocktail of local inspired hits. Touted as an adventurous, fun project, the entirety of the recording took around three years to complete, as the schedule of pro working musicians can many times be hectic. In the end, it was well worth it, as the big hardworking group of New Orleans musicians can now look back on a job well done in a highquality, collaborative effort rarely found in the digital age of recording. –Chris DiBenedetto