New Orleans Juice

All Lit Up

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Picking up almost exactly where 2001's Fortified left off, All Lit Up continues New Orleans Juice's quest to add a dose of Meters-style Louisiana soul to the modern-day jam band circuit. Not at all far removed from the likes of Widespread Panic or Leftover Salmon, New Orleans Juice plays wiggly but clean lite funk for college kids to noodle dance to. What they do, they do very well, although there's little that's particularly unique or original about their Allen Toussaint-meets-Gov't Mule hybrid. All Lit Up does include a few more conventionally structured pop songs in with the jams -- the opening "Back by the River" sounds suspiciously like Blues Traveler -- but when the band stretches out -- as on the loose, funky "Hey Kool Aid" or "Special Nut Strut" -- their real strengths are revealed. New Orleans Juice has the potential to be something special, but All Lit Up shows a band a little too afraid of rocking the boat.

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