The Magnificent Seven release live album to support Tipitina’s

On September 22, 2017, seven of the most celebrated musicians in New Orleans came together for only the fifth time to perform as The Magnificent Seven at Tipitina’s. The band, which includes guitarists and vocalists Dave and Tommy Malone, trombonist and vocalist Mark Mullins, keyboard player and vocalist John Gros, drummer Raymond Weber, bassist Rob Mercurio, and percussionist Michael Skinkus, has released a live album of that show with the proceeds going to support Tipitina’s during the travails of the pandemic. It is available here.

The term super group is certainly overused, and full disclosure, I have been guilty, but this aggregation of the players certainly fits the bill. However, despite the seven musicians long history playing in their own groups and in various aggregations with each other, they came across as a real band, not just a collection of musicians. The show was epic on many levels. I was there and covered it for TVD. The link is here.

From the opening notes of the great soul song, “You Got Me Hummin’” to the closer, a long medley of the Radiators’ song “Lucinda” jammed together with the theme song of the film from which the band takes its name and the Meters’ funk classic, “Cissy Strut,” the recording sizzles with great vocals, killer guitar solos, rock solid grooves and more.

Mark Mullins of the great funky rock band Bonerama adds some wonderful trombone solos driven into the stratosphere with wah-wah pedal effects. John Gros adds some downright nasty organ fills and solos with aplomb. Throughout the eight song, 70 minute album, the rhythm section percolates and pulses.

Highlights include the Malone brothers singing together as only brothers can on the opener and trading verses on Blind Faith’s rock classic “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad.” Tommy Malone emotes on his subdudes’ jewel “Natural Born Days.” Dave Malone tears up Jackson Browne’s “Doctor of My Eyes” and Gros brings his funky keyboard sound and gritty vocals to a medley of Elton John’s “Ballad of a Well-Known Gun” and Frankie Ford’s New Orleans R&B gem “Sea Cruise.”

As everyone even remotely involved in the music world both in New Orleans and around the globe is aware, times are incredibly tough for musicians and the entire infrastructure that supports their efforts. Buy this album, help out these musicians and support the club that has been presenting great music for decades.

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