The band spent most of May 2005 at Dockside Studios near Lafayette, La., working with Keb' Mo' on the recordings. Tommy Malone spent an additional two weeks in September in Los Angeles working with Keb' on the final mixes. The recording has been mastered, artwork has been settled on, and promo copies are already making their way to radio stations. Keep an ear on your favorite radio station, as "Papa Dukie and the Mud People" (aka Love is a Beautiful Thing) is already being featured on a number of stations. Some of the songs have been previewed on the road and will be recognizable to fans, but many will be brand new to most people! Some guests in addition to Keb' Mo' helped out in the studio, including the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Narada. 2006.
Between the recording and the release of this album, the devastation of Katrina transformed the Subdudes' native New Orleans. So perhaps this could have been titled Before the Flood
, with the band's musical equivalent of Crescent City comfort food reminding us of better times (and providing hope for better times to come). The band's sonic signature combines the soulful vocals of Tommy Malone, the call-and-response harmonies of his bandmates, and the spare accordion accompaniment of John Magnie. As produced by bluesman Keb' Mo', the band's second album since its reunion renders the rhythm section almost subliminal, thus spotlighting the buoyant melodies and the vocal dynamics more than the groove. Among the highlights here, "Papa Dukie and the Mud People" celebrates the commotion that results when a hippie tribe pitches riverside camp in small-town Louisiana, "Looking at You" features a funky duet with Rosie Ledet, and "One Word" lifts the spirit like a secular hymn, with Malone's buttery tenor sounding like a bayou Michael McDonald. The gorgeous balladry of "Time for the Sun to Rise" and the closing redemption of "Prayer of Love" provide the sort of transcendental healing that music can offer the most musical of American cities. --Don McLeese