Even in a city that doesn?t play by the rules, New Orleans? Bonerama is something different. They can evoke vintage funk, classic rock and free improvisation in the same set; maybe even the same song. Bonerama has been repeatedly recognized by Rolling Stone, hailed as ?the ultimate in brass balls? (2005) and praised for their ??crushing ensemble riffing, human-feedback shrieks and wah-wah growls? (2007). Bonerama carries the brass-band concept to places unknown; what other brass band could snag an honor for ?Best Rock Band? (Big Easy Awards 2007)? As cofounder Mark Mullins puts it, ?We thought we could expand what a New Orleans brass band could do. Bands like Dirty Dozen started the ?anything goes? concept, bringing in the guitars and the drum kit and using the sousaphone like a bass guitar. We thought we could push things a little further.?
The buzz on Bonerama grew with hometown acclaim (with the band winning numerous OffBeat Magazine Awards; and Mullins regularly topping OffBeat?s trombone category), lots of roadwork, and three live albums ? the first recorded close to home at the Old Point in Algiers; the second on tour in New York and the third album, Bringing It Home, recorded live from New Orleans? world famous nightclub, Tipitina?s. The Boston Herald called them a ?bonehead?s dream?; the Vail (CO) Daily noted that ?the sound is fat and wet; sometimes downright lusty.? As hometown music zine OffBeat put it, ?That nerdy kid in the band room with the trombone just might have the last laugh after all.?
The new EP Hard Times contains four studio tracks including the title track, ?Hard Times,? the instrumental number ?Folly? and ?Lost My House? which was co-written by Craig Klein and Dave Malone from the Radiators. These three new originals along with a cover of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" marks the band's first ever studio recordings. A bonus fifth track features a live performance of "Turn on Your Love Light" captured live from the stage at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.