Before getting into this new record, I’ll start off by mentioning that the band played at my wedding two weeks ago. “Playing” is not the right word though, to describe what went down the moment they walked into the wedding hall. The Free Agents rocked the house and tore it up for 20 glorious minutes. It was pretty amazing to see so many of my relatives, who like me, are not from New Orleans but nonetheless were gettin’ down among everyone else, mostly New Orleanians, in a fantastic second line that I thought would never end.
It was the perfect way to close out the wedding party and it was and always will be a special memory and an unforgettable experience.
A few days after the wedding, while still in the city, I stopped by the Louisiana Music Factory, the great record store on Decatur Street, across from the House Of Blues. As soon as you enter the store there’s the “New Releases” section. And right in front of my face, there it was on display, the Free Agents record, Made It Through That Water.
I had no idea that they had just released a new album but it was really cool, totally unexpected, to come across it. Especially so soon after the wedding. I of course bought it.
The music is superb from beginning to end. Absolutely no filler. High energy killer songs throughout like “Move Something”, “Music Is The Key”, “Feel Good Music”, “Stop The Violence” and the uplifting album closer “Victory is Mine”
My favorite track on the album is “Made It Through That Water” which is a very special song, for obvious reasons. It is heartfelt and spirited and it grooves really hard. As they sing in the song, “You know, I know, ain’t no city like N.O.” Yes, Indeed !
I think it is very positive and encouraging that talented New Orleans musicians like the Free Agents are still going strong, making such wonderful music in a place that has experienced so much destruction and tragedy but yet is still a place where music and the joy it creates is deeply embedded in the streets, in the air and in people’s soul. It is a force that is indestructible.
To me, this record is a reminder of all that.
This is Brass Band music at its best. This is New Orleans at its best.