New Orleans Klezmer Allstars
With a name like this, these guys almost review themselves. Yes, they play Klezmer, albeit in a modernized, tradition-bending kind of way, their clarinet/accordion/violin frontline abetted by funky parade rhythms and an unmistakable New Orleans vibe. And while they may not be certified, on-paper all stars (or maybe they are), their playing certainly fits the billing. Rob Wagner's full-bodied clarinet in particular deserves special notice, as does the guitar work (both acoustic and electric) of fellow songwriter Jonathan Freilich. Raw, down-to-earth music that maintains a celebratory nature despite the mournful nostalgia of its melodies.