Crystal Bay Casino, Tipatina’s, Howlin’ Wolf, The Maple Leaf. Each of these venues are famous for great New Orleans music. However, Crystal Bay isn’t located in New Orleans.
Busting out on the national scene, Flow Tribe debuts in the CBC Crown Room on Saturday, joining an amazing litany of New Orleans bands that have performed there, including Galactic, Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, Dumpstaphunk, the Soul Rebels, Anders Osborne, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and The Meters.
“This is only our second time out West, so this is a real treat,” said trumpeter-singer K.C. O’Rorke. “We have a lot of fans out there, and the physical distance is a little challenging, but this tour have been going great. We’re excited to bring that backbone-crackin’ music out West.”
Flow Tribe also is exploring new directions musically. Its latest full-length album, “BOSS,” was produced by Mannie Fresh, also a New Orleans resident but one known for his work in hip-hop, including Lil Wayne and The Notorious B.I.G.
“We grew up listening to his music and it was always an inspiration for us,” O’Rorke said. “And for this album we wanted to do something a little different. The concept was have a funk-soul, whatever-we-do album but have it done with hip-hop production. So having Mannie come in was a no brainer.
“He came in with such creativity and ingenuity that it just meshed well. We’d play live then he would go back an produce some stuff and pick out some of the righteous fruits, if you will, of the session, and then we’d go back and create this thing together. It was a really fun collaborative process. We see the best of what we do and the best of what he does come together in a good light.”
Flow Tribe’s six members are New Orleans natives that attended the same high school as did Galactic’s Stanton Moore. They reunited after Hurricane Katrina. Most were away at college when the Crescent City was wiped out, others were displaced and drummer Russell Olschner was serving a tour of duty in Iraq.
“We reformed with a new sense of purpose,” said O’Rorke, who described his band’s approach. “The New Orleans influence is always inescapable and we want to be ambassadors for New Orleans.Wwe obviously are proud of where we came from, but we hope our music is universal and reaches people where ever they are at.”
They will be at Crystal Bay, the Little Crescent City, on Saturday. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
- Flow Tribe
When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
Red Room after-party: Groovesession
- Where else
Mammoth Lakes, Bluesapalooza, Thursday, Aug. 3
San Francisco, The Independent, Friday, Aug. 4