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Twangorama: New Orleans guitar virtuosos bring back next generation

New Orleans guitar virtuoso Jimmy Robinson has been touring up a storm, up and down the country this summer. He just wrapped up two shows in L.A., and hits the U.S. Mint Theater with the amazing cellist Helen Gillet August 23 before spreading the love around in the rest of the South. But first, he’s reuniting with his Twangorama bandmate, fellow virtuoso Cranston Clements and Clements’ twin sons, bassist Austin and drummer Tyler, for another rousing gig at New Orleans’ Carrollton Station this Saturday night.

Two of New Orleans’ most respected guitar virtuosos — Cranston Clements and Jimmy Robinson — return to a favorite New Orleans haunt, with the next generation — Clements’ two musical sons, for a late-night jam.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Robinson

Lucky Louisiana residents can come on down to the nearby haunts to check out Robinson and Clements — masters of their trade and star-crossed sidemen — doing their thing almost every other day. Not so long ago, they and some of their Twangorama cohorts took command of the New Orleans Jazzfest, April 27, for a guitar bonanza that was talked about for weeks and weeks. Founded by Robinson in the 1990s, Twangorama usually consists of a five-man crew of gnarly technicians who know how to turn up the heat on electric guitar, taking audiences on a mood-coasting safari.

For the 9 p.m.-midnight set, the veterans bring back the young guns to help them level the playing field with some fresh takes on some intricate, complex music from the Twang catalog, and some tracks from Robinson’s other band, Woodenhead. Austin and Tyler Clements will also crank out their own stuff, as well as their old man’s.

Austin and Tyler Clements, 20, followed in their father’s footsteps in many ways. Not only have they joined up with some forward-thinking local musicians, like fellow New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts alum Omari Neville (Rejected Youth Nation), they’ve got their own jazz-funk fusion band, the Clement Brothers Part Deux, with another NOCCA grad, guitarist Benjamin Greenberg, from the University of North Texas.

The House of Clements has previously played the Carrollton Station with much success. It’s been Clements and Robinson’s pleasure to watch these young men grow in musicianship. Their influences match the veterans’ style, a mix of Weather Report and Allan Holdsworth, jazz fusion and rock, acoustic and electric magic.

Come meet the new generation of emotive shredders. The Carrollton Station is located on 8140 Willow St. in New Orleans. Call (504) 865-9190.