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Studio album by Trombone Shorty
Released 20 April 2010 (2010-04-20)
Recorded The Gumbo Room, New Orleans
Genre Jazz
Length 43:12
Label Verve Forecast
Producer Ben Ellman
Trombone Shorty chronology
Orleans & Claiborne
For True

Backatown is an album released by jazz musician Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews. The album was released in 2010 on Verve Forecast Records and was produced by Galactic's Ben Ellman. It reached number 3 on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart and was nominated for the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.


What we tried to do with the record is capture what we do live and then just tighten it up a little bit, make it translate on record. Live, we may come across some stuff and jam on it, but the record brings it in and focuses on what we needed to do. We worked hard and we didn't rush it. I think we alright with this one.

Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews[1]

Backatown represents Andrews's national[2] and major label debut.[3] The tracks "In the 6th", "Hurricane Season" and "Backatown" pay homage to the culture and neighborhoods of New Orleans, Andrews hometown.[4] He refers to his diverse musical style as 'supafunkrock'.[5]

The album was nominated for the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album[6] but lost to the Stanley Clarke album The Stanley Clarke Band.[7] The other nominees were Never Can Say Goodbye by Joey DeFrancesco, Now Is the Time by Jeff Lorber, and To the One by John McLaughlin.[8]

The band[edit]

Lenny Kravitz provides guitar and backing vocals on "Something Beautiful"
Allen Toussaint wrote and performed on "On Your Way Down"

Andrews is supported by his band Orleans Avenue; bassist Mike Ballard, guitarist Pete Murano, saxophonist Dan Oestreicher, drummer Joey Peebles, and percussionist Dwayne Williams.[9] Andrews plays both trombone and trumpet[10] and provides lead vocals on the five tracks with lyrics.[11]

Guest musicians also contribute to the album's sound. Lenny Kravitz, who Andrews once apprenticed under[2] as a member of his backing band,[12] plays guitar and sings backup on "Something Beautiful".[1] Marc Broussard contributes backing vocals on "Right to Complain".[10] Allen Toussaint plays piano[9] on the only cover on the album, a reworking of his own "On Your Way Down".[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[13]
Billboard 89/100[14]

Nate Chinen quipped in The New York Times that the album is "more polished and less thrilling than Trombone Shorty’s live shows" but goes on to call it "firm in its purpose with swagger to spare". He closed his review with "It’s a sound born of New Orleans, unmistakably, and if it heralds an ambitious ascent, it also attests to an unbroken spirit."[10]

Noting the wide appeal of Backatown, Carla Meyer of The Sacramento Bee wrote that it "provides comfort for fans of jazz, rock, pop, funk and however you want to classify James Bond theme music".[5] Geoffrey Himes of The Washington Post compared Andrews's vocals to Stevie Wonder and noted that the album has "second-line rhythm that could only come from New Orleans".[11]

Thom Jurek of Allmusic called the music "aural gumbo" and the album a "fingerpopping, butt-shakin' mix set" that "crackles and burns with an unburdened, unfettered, passionate live feel". He went on to call it "everything popular American music should be".[9] Will Hermes of Rolling Stone said the album is "both deeply rooted and culturally omnivorous" and referred to Andrews as "a Katrina survivor trying to hold on to the old while building the new".[13]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Hurricane Season" (Troy Andrews) 3:20
  2. "On Your Way Down" (Allen Toussaint) 3:36
  3. "Quiet as Kept" (Andrews) 3:05
  4. "Something Beautiful" (Andrews, Ryan Montbleau) 3:42
  5. "Backatown" (Andrews) 2:47
  6. "Right to Complain" (Andrews, PJ Morton) 2:56
  7. "Neph" (Andrews) 3:02
  8. "Suburbia" (Andrews, Mike Ballard, Pete Murano, Joey Peebles) 3:19
  9. "In the 6th" (Andrews, Dan Oestreicher) 3:17
  10. "One Night Only (The March)" (Andrews, Montbleau) 2:49
  11. "Where Y' At" (Andrews, Clarence Slaughter) 2:59
  12. "Fallin'" (Andrews, Morton) 3:46
  13. "The Cure" (Andrews, Ballard, Murano) 3:39
  14. "928 Horn Jam" (Andrews, Oestreicher, Slaughter, Dwayne Williams) 0:55



Year Chart Peak position
2010 German Albums Chart 96[15]
US Billboard Jazz Albums 3[16]
US Billboard Top Heatseekers 6[16]
2011 Spanish Albums Chart 77[17]


  1. ^ a b Hendrickson, Tad (30 April 2010). "Trombone Shorty Stands Tall on Backatown". Spinner. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Spera, Keith. "After New Orleans Jazz Fest the party continues at New Orleans music clubs". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Herczog, Mary; Schwam, Diana (2011). Frommer's New Orleans 2011. Frommer's. pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-0-470-88143-9. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Hansen, Liane (2 May 2010). "Interview - Trombone Shorty: Funk From 'Backatown' New Orleans". NPR. Archived from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Meyer, Carla (17 September 2010). "'Trombone Shorty' slides his band into Harlow's". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Shriver, Jerry (7 February 2011). "Five artists under the radar at the Grammys". USA Today. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Hadley, Diane (14 February 2011). "Grammy Winner Stanley Clarke Reflects On His Win And Two Nominations". All About Jazz. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Nominees And Winners". Grammy Award. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d Jurek, Thom. "Review: Backatown". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Chinen, Nate (19 April 2010). "New CDs". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Himes, Geoffrey (4 June 2010). "Trombone Shorty's Backatown". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Machosky, Michael (21 July 2010). "Trombone Shorty, band long on musical skills". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Hermes, Will (10 May 2010). "Backatown by Trombone Shorty". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Mitchell, Gail (30 April 2010). "Trombone Shorty, Backatown". Billboard. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "German chart overview - Trombone Shorty". (in German). media control. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Charts & Awards: Backatown". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Trombone Shorty - Backatown – Music Charts". Retrieved 6 August 2013.