Trombone Shorty Gives Joan Jett’s ‘Bad Reputation’ a Brass Makeover for Folger’s Ad
Do you dare mess with a punk classic? The same rebellious spirit that infused Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' "Bad Reputation" can be applied to Trombone Shorty, who is giving the track a brass makeover as part of a new Folgers coffee ad.
The New Orleans-based longtime coffee brand just revealed their latest commercial, driving home the point that just because of their long-lasting legacy, you should not dismiss the brand as "your grandma's coffee."
“It was a no-brainer to address the misconception head-on, in a bold and unapologetic fashion, while remaining authentic to the brand and its roots,” says BCL Entertainment founder/CEO Bettie Levy to Billboard. “Using Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ ‘Bad Reputation’ shows consumers and non-consumers alike that the brand is ready to change the mindset. Through this campaign, we hope to show viewers Folgers’ pride in the heart of their coffee, as well as the community behind it.”
As for Trombone Shorty, who has found success bringing his New Orleans brass band into the rock world frequently over their tenure, the musician spoke about adapting such an iconic track for the ad.
"I’ve heard the song on the radio and in movies, of course. And my little sister and I watch wrestling and 'Bad Reputation' was Ronda Rousey’s theme song. But she [Joan] actually sent me the original stems from the original recording. So my band and I played underneath the original vocals," said the musician. "We tried to get it as close to the original as possible, but of course there’s some rhythm that we use in New Orleans. Then I listened to see how we could add the brass elements. After we put down the rhythm section, which was the most important thing, we added the brass — kind of tailgating or tap dancing around the main vocal."
He adds, "I just wanted to make [the song] a big thing like you’re on the streets of New Orleans but on top of this punk rock thing; to just mix it up like a gumbo."
The Folgers ad has just started airing and can be viewed in full below. As for Trombone Shorty, the musician tells Billboard that he has a new album that will be announced soon, with their "Voodoo Threauxdown" tour featuring Big Freedia, Tank & the Bangas, The Soul Rebels and Cyril Neville set to take place starting in June. See his website for all of the upcoming Trombone Shorty dates.
I have an album that’s already done, which will be announced soon. I’ve been in the studio every day making new music. It was tough during the pandemic since we couldn’t see and play with each other. Now that things are a little easier, we’ve been getting in there to create some things. We also have a tour planned, the Voodoo Threauxdown. This will be our second such tour; the last one was in 2018. This time it will include Big Freedia, Tank & the Bangas, The Soul Rebels and Cyril Neville, among others. Once again, it’s me and some of my friends coming together to represent New Orleans.