[Cover photo courtesy of Derrick Freeman]
New Orleans based drummer, Derrick Freeman & Smokers World have released their latest single, “HoTel” from the politically charged album, WhiteSplain due out June 24th, 2022. The song “HoTel” is a bluesy parody with a “cheeky play on words” built in.
In discussing the song, Freeman says:
Good ole gut bucket blues. This song is old school New Orleans. Tongue in cheek lyrics mixed with Fats Domino type horns. Guitar ala Gatemouth Brown and drums ala Herman Ernest. We all have pain. Sometimes you have to just belt it out. This song resonates with everyone. It’s what roots music is supposed to be.
The collection of songs from WhiteSplain aims to “transform the chaos of the pandemic and the political dysfunction” into danceable tunes with lyrics that “don’t gloss over the problems we’re facing”.
Freeman discusses his pandemic experience:
Like everybody else, I had to readjust. I was also going through a divorce. I worked some non-musical jobs and visited my friend Jason Butler in San Francisco; George Floyd happened and I had a lot of feelings to get off my chest. Jason’s a master drum programmer, so we wrote ‘Who’s Next,’ referencing Floyd, BLM and all that. When I got back home, my friend Leslie Smith called me. She asked why I wasn’t making music. I said I was too distraught. She had a few choice words and lit a fire under me, so I contacted the crew and we started jamming and writing.
Freeman comments on his collaboration for the album:
Smoker’s World is the anchor. The other groups are tentacles of that project. I use the same 13 musicians for all my bands. Everybody’s versatile. They’re jazz cats, able to play in any style that’s called for, depending on the venue and the circumstances. That helps me out when it’s time to start the creative process.