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Trumpeter Nick Etwell Gets Filthy in NOLA

You may not have heard of Nick Etwell, but you probably have heard his music. The trumpeter just finished another tour with Mumford & Sons. In the past, he has played with likes of David Axelrod and Tom Jones to name a few. In the interim, the British horn player is touring the U.S. with his side project The Filthy Six. 


A self-described “soulful/hammond/groove” sextet, the Six have a fantastic line up of musicians including Nick Etwell on trumpet, Frank Waldenon on sax, Jerry Haglundon on guitar, Kevin Scott on bass, Nate Basinger on organ, and Simon Lea on drums. Together the group comprise a veritable Who’s Who of touring, session, and backing musicians. 


The Filthy Six was a long time coming. Etwell first became interested in jazz at the age of 15 years old when he listened to Jimmy Smith’s The Cat. “I just loved the sound of the record, and enjoyed playing and trying new things and fell for jazz right there.” It stuck with him, and he ended up forming the band later in college. But it didn’t all come together until the 2000’s when they “moved above ground and into venues around London.” 


Although Etwell loves playing with Mumford & Sons, he knows it’s important to play smaller rooms as well. “There is a definitely a big difference,” he said. “With the Filthy Six you get a lot more interaction with the audience, and there’s nothing like it really. With Mumford, you get to play a lot of really fun big shows but after a while you get disconnected. It’s great to meet the people and get the feeling from just a few feet away.”


This isn’t The Filthy Six’s first time below the Mason-Dixon Line. They had a ten date run in the south last spring. However, Etwell's first visit to New Orleans was in 2010 for, what else, Jazz Fest. “I love New Orleans, it’s a wonderful place,” the musician said. “I just fell in love. With the music, the people, the food. It’s heaven on Earth.” He came back for Jazz Fest the next year with Mumford & Sons to finish up their 2011 tour, “the best part of the tour was rolling into New Orleans. It was a perfect finale.” 


Etwell even said that he would like to live here one day, as it is a “Mecca for musicians”, not to mention the food. “I love jambalaya, crawfish, gumbo, especially the one on St. Peters. I want to check out Galatoire’s while I am in town, I just love the whole creole cooking.” 


As for the music, he is a fan of Big Sam, Rebirth Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen, Galactic, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. “I just love the whole part of history they are continuing to create, especially the new album, they joined us at a Mumford & Sons gig at Mardi Gras World. They really do something with the crowd.”


The Filthy Six will be playing tonight, Sunday the 28th, at Kermit Ruffins Mother-In-Law Lounge at 10:30p.m. And he hopes that some local talent will be joining him on stage. “David Andrews is the first local guy I played with back in 2011, I’m hoping Kermit might be there. And a friend, Jon Michael, might be there to hop on stage and have some fun.”

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