Best Of 2008

BEST HEATWAVE PERFORMANCE: Soul Rebels

WMNF devoted an entire stage to Louisiana acts this year at its annual Tropical Heatwave bash, and hundreds of enthusiasts remained camped there all night. Cajun-pop fiddle sensation Amanda Shaw and slide guitar virtuoso Sonny Landreth both turned in commendable, crowd-pleasing sets. But the stage closer, Soul Rebels, had people hooting, hollering and literally bouncing up and down. The Rebels’ NOLA fusion of second-line brass, jazz, funk, rock and hip-hop kept the revelry going strong way past midnight. The eight-piece enjoyed the most enthusiastic response of the night thanks to their finely honed, genre-hopping party music — and the Mardi Gras beads they tossed in between songs didn’t hurt either. For pictures from the show, see the May 19 post at tampacalling.com