No one is more New Orleans than James "12" Andrews. 12's lineage is thick with New Orleans R&B legends such as his grandfather Jesse Hill and his great uncle Papoose Nelson. His early instruction as a pupil of the famous guitarist and Jazz historian Danny Barker shaped him into a solid Jazz player at a very young age. 12's subsequent experiences on the international stage and at home have molded him into a world class performer. This new album, People Get Ready Now, is an expression of 12's ability to bring people together. The spirit of celebration which pervaded the sessions is vibrantly captured in the subsequent music. Above all, People Get Ready Now is a homage to the five institutions from which the modern music of New Orleans was born: Benevolent Societies, Jazz Funerals, Neighborhood Music Venues, Mardi Gras Indians and Spiritual Churches. These institutions not only encompass the genesis of New Orleans music but also the cultural substance that continues to keep the music relevant and alive. James "12" Andrews is as much a product of these institutions as the music itself, and he was able to assemble an amazing array of musicians to help him honor these roots.
Kevin O’Day’s syncopated, funky drum rhythms that dominate the album spring from the city's second line tradition. The solid rhythmic foundation is bolstered by deep pocket bass guitar work from both Scott Jackson and Mark Brooks. The call and response lyrical elements in songs like "Who Knows the Town Taker" and "Hasta la Vista" echo the street chants of the Mardi Gras Indians. The raw guitar runs laid down by legendary Walter "Wolfman" Washington and West Bank Mike hover above the crowd in some hidden blues hall. The loose nature in which the sessions were conducted lends the album a live feel, like a night at Benny's back in the day, when all the best players happened to stop by to jam. All of this heavy grit and funk is offset by the marvelous back up vocal work of Danon C. Smith, Margie Perez, Karen Gant and Delia Bennett. Their sweet harmonies, particularly in "6th Ward Soul," convey the holy sound of Gospel music emanating from the churches throughout the city. Upon this foundation of pure New Orleans sound, Marlon Jordan was able to add a sweet touch of Miles Davis, and 12's old friend Doctor John even peeked in to collaborate on the original number "If You Ain't Doin' Somethin'." This album is a labor of love for all involved: love of the music, love between the people, and most of all, love for New Orleans. People get ready now!