There's nothing like a batch of original songs to keep a band that's infatuated with Deep South R&B and zydeco from sounding like yet another Louisiana knockoff.
On "Radiatin' Street Side," Krewe of Renegades struts and strolls to 11 new tunes that help assert its own identity--something that hasn't always been evident in the past. The local quintet's influences are still apparent--Irma Thomas, James Booker, Dr. John, et al--but the infusion of fresh material is a big plus, generating a mixture of party anthems and soul tunes strong enough to stand on their own. The former includes the album's rambunctious title track and the squeeze box romp "Jockomo Zydeco" (fueled in part by guest saxophonist Ron Holloway), while the latter is best represented by the horn-driven admonition "Do You Really Know" and the homesick musing "Casa Del Soul."
As in the past, singer Rita "The Heata" Clarke and drummer Richard Clarke play key roles--they had a hand in writing most of the tunes on the album. Yet much of its thrust and luster is generated by keyboardist Howie Lee Feinstein, guitarist John Montgomery, reedman Chris Watling and a slew of guests.
Appearing Friday at Paddy Mac's.
To hear a free Sound Bite from Krewe of Renegades, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8106. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)