Critic's Choice

Youngblood Brass Band

The Youngblood Brass Band, Saturday, February 17, at the Boulder Theater, will add a blast of fresh heat to the early Mardi Gras celebration being presented by the Colorado Friends of Cajun-Zydeco Music and Dance. The band -- eight white guys from the seemingly gumbo-impaired environs of Wisconsin -- blend vintage New Orleans jazz, marching-band fare and Meters-ish funk with snatches of hip-hop. The result is a brand new version of Cajun musical stew -- wiggy enough to thrill the baggy-pants set while ruffling a few feathers amongst old-schoolers. But even trad-minded purists chilled by the Youngblood's occasional raps should appreciate the band's butt-friendly grooves and hot-as-cayenne horn section. If not, retro zydeco nuts will get their fill from the night's other acts -- the Colorado Cajun Dance Band and the legendary Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas -- and all the Cajun food, beer and beads a body can handle. Can't make it to the Crescent City this year for the genuine Louisiana shindig? This jambalaya-blessed bash should help ease your pain.
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