It’s January and thousands of people across New Orleans and the country are getting ready for Mardi … Radiators reunion shows. It’s been seven years since the venerable rock n roll band called it quits, but luckily for their rabid fan base, they’ve endured with three annual anniversary shows every January at Tipitina’s.
This year’s highly anticipated 40th-anniversary shows will bring about something special. Dave, Ed, Reggie, Camile and Frank have gotten back into the studio to record their first album in over ten years. Titled “Welcome to the Monkey House,” the album features sixteen previously unreleased songs. Lead singer and guitarist Dave Malone says “it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but it was up to Zeke (Ed Volker) to say he was ready.”
Malone adds, “Zeke seems more amenable to playing loud rock songs again.” So the band got together at Jake Eckert’s (New Orleans Suspects) studio and spent two and a half days recording “old songs properly. Songs we’ve played once in a while or in post-Rads configurations.”
The band also eschewed any special guests for the album. Past Radiator reunion shows have featured everyone from Michael Skinkus on percussion to George Porter on bass. Malone reasons that “the only ones who can make us the Radiators are us five.”
“It was low budget,” Malone continues. “We weren’t overly concerned with ‘perfect.’ There were no overdubs other than keyboard and organ because we had a piano on all the bottom tracks. But we are really excited about the way it turned out.”
Fans of the band (aka Fishheads) can grab a copy of “Welcome to the Monkey House” at the anniversary shows. Those that can’t make it will have to wait until the official release in April. Perhaps the new album will get the band back to their rightful place on the Gentilly Stage on the closing Sunday of Jazz Fest. The tight-knit community of music lovers would be excited about any opportunity they have to see their favorite band.