Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Today is Mardi Gras. Time to throw out that puritan straitjacket and let the good times roll. Get some Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a file gumbo, and listen to this good old-fashioned New Orleans music. Can you get loose? Really loose? Here's some advice, and if you follow carefully you'll do fine. You let the bon ton roulet. You let the mulay voulay. Don't you be no foulay. You let the bon ton roulet. Go!

Professor Longhair, "Go to the Mardi Gras." Born Henry Roeland Byrd in 1918, he first made his living as a street hustler and started playing music in his thirties, eventually played his way into the Blues Hall of Fame and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was too freaky to become a mainstream hit, but his musical children Fats Domino and Huey "Piano" Smith carried his style into popular music. Allen Toussaint and Dr. John acknowledge the Professor as an important father figure and give him props.

The Meters, "Hey, Pocky A-Way." The Meters were a New Orleans funk band that got together in the late sixties. With frontman Art Neville, the band combined tight melodies with New Orleans "second-line" rhythms and riffs. Classic N'orleans funk.

Tom Waits, "I Wish I Was in New Orleans." Thomas Alan Waits soaked his voice in bourbon and cigarettes and growled his way through blues, jazz and vaudeville--finally combining Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill theatrics, beat poetry, carnival barking, industrial noise, and heart-rending stories to the mix. Don't let the animal rasp fool you; underneath the howl is a melodic genius.

Trust me. You want to eat a whole mess of this Jambalaya. Keep a cold beer at your side and dig in. Laisez les bons temps rouler!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now I'm getting hungry.