It's Time For My 2004 Mardi Gras Playlist Part One!





The Clock On The Wall Sez

It's Time For Some Tasty Mardi Gras Sounds!





Let's start things off with Galactic welcoming us all to Nawlins!



Galactic's sound has evolved from organic New Orleans funk to a more modern style, incorporating elements of hip hop, electronica, fusion, and jazz. This change has been largely characterized by the increased use of electronic effects on guitar, bass, saxophone, and drums. Drummer Stanton Moore uses phrase samplers to sample a rhythm which he can then play over, producing intricate and layered drum sounds. Ben Ellman, saxophonist and harmonica player, often distorts his instruments to the degree that they sound similar to an electric guitar. In 2007, the band began to produce their own albums. This opened them up to more studio experimentation and exploration resulting in their loop, edit and production heavy album Ya-Ka-May.




Galactic has long considered the legendary New Orleans music venue Tipitina's an unofficial home base, having recorded a live album there and having performed there regularly since the beginning of their career. This includes annual performances on Halloween, New Year's Eve, during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and a yearly "sunrise set" on Lundi Gras (the day preceding Mardi Gras), appropriately playing until the sun rises on Mardi Gras day. In 2018, the members of the band made their association with the venue official, purchasing the venue from the previous owners, Mary and Roland Von Kurnatowski.



Next up is the late great Beau Jocque who was a dynamite zydeco artist.  The Slide And Dip It (Zydeco Mix) track turns you inside out and shakes you down to yer core!


Beau Jocque was known for his gruff vocals, his fusion of many musical styles into zydeco, and above all, for the powerful energy of his rhythm and sound. Backed by the Hi-Rollers, he became one of the top dance-hall acts of his musical decade. He wrote, recorded and performed many songs in both Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole languages, as well as in English.




Beau Jocque's rapid rise to the top of the zydeco circuit created some tension with the older musicians, who felt he hadn't paid his dues. Zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis even recorded a song called "Boozoo's Payback" that included the lyrics "He plays my music and he does me wrong, but he can't sing my song", directed at Beau Jocque.



But the rivalry was also good for business. The Mid-City Lanes Rock n' Bowl in New Orleans staged annual mock battles billed as "Boo vs. Beau" during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which each year drew more than 1,000 patrons and set attendance records at the venue. One year, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts (of the Rolling Stones) paid the $5 admission charge to experience the showdown. 




Boozoo and Beau had a friendly rivalry. The two musicians often traded insults in public but they were supportive of each other in private. Beau Jocque often played Chavis' songs during his performances, and even performed at a benefit concert to raise money to pay the costs of surgery for Chavis' wife.  The final "Boo vs. Beau" battle in New Orleans was held on May 2, 1999 at the Rock n' Bowl.



I first came across the music of Buckwheat Zydeco when a fella named Pete was the manager for the Freelance Vandals.  Some time later when Pete got married he hired Buckwheat Zydeco for his wedding party.  I got curious and purchased this album that was out at the time called Turning Point.  Man oh man!  I suddenly got hypnotized by the sound of this whole album.  Check it out if you haven't heard it…Buckwheat Zydeco & his tight band  brings the heat on the title  track!  Shazam!




When it comes to songwriters in New Orleans, Allen Toussaint is the champion for sure!  Over the years, Toussaint produced many song that enhanced the  growing hits on the charts that became known as “The New Orleans Sound”: I Like It Like That, Mother-In-Law, Java (instrumental), Fortune Teller, Night People, A Certain Girl, Sneaking Sally Through The Alley and many more.



Crescent City Gold is the moniker for a "dream team" of some of New Orleans R&B's greatest musicians. Four of these great players, drummer Earl Palmer, baritone sax player Alvin "Red" Tyler, pianist Edward Frank, and tenor sax player Lee Allen, have been studio musicians since the 1950s, and they amply demonstrate their 40 years of musical experience on The Ultimate Session



Dr. John and Allen Toussaint to Receive Honorary Degrees from Tulane  University Along with Dalai Lama | Nonesuch Records


Joining them are two musicians who are slightly younger, yet whose credentials are completely above suspicion: Mac Rebennack and Allen Toussaint (it is a tribute to the authenticity of The Ultimate Session that Rebennack is billed by his real name and not his more familiar stage name, Dr. John). These two contribute most of the compositions on this record. Red and Lee, named after the one-two punch of Tyler and Allen, is perhaps the most immediately attractive tune on the disc, featuring a fantastic sax melody, Earl Palmer at his best, and some extremely skanky guitar from Mr. Rebennack. 

The record is of such historic importance (and so downright funky throughout) that it is worth tracking down for fans of New Orleans R&B. This track is possibly the best groove I've ever heard come outta New Orleans fer sure!




I was on my Honeymoon in New Orleans back in 1984 when I discovered the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  Suddenly, this album took me to a different place. I had seen bands like the Preservation Hall band and others but this one seemed to have something very different.  Pure magic!






A New Orleans Memory 1984: While Sweet Lo & I were on our Honeymoon in New Orleans we went down to Tipitina's to catch The Dirty Dozen Brass Band….so as we go into Tipitina's we see The Dirty Dozen getting ready on the stage.  We looked around and…Hey!  Aside from the bartender, we suddenly realized that we're the only people in Tips!  The Dirty Dozen start their set and they're kicking some serious ass!  We keep looking around to see if any other folks have showed up but NO we're still the only people in Tipitina's!  

The Dirty Dozen finished out their set and then one of the Dirty Dozen guys came over and handed us the $4 we paid to see the show and said, “We ain't doing a second set.”  We went over to the stage and thanked all of the Dirty Dozen players and told them how much we enjoyed the set.  We could feel a mystical vibe as we walked out of Tipitina's.  Sweet Lo and I looked at each other and said, “Did we just get a private show featuring The Dirty Dozen?” 








Professor Longhair - Crawfish Fiesta



Allen Toussaint - Southern Nights



Dr. John - Going Back To New Orleans



The Wild Tchoupitolas



Beau Jocque - Check it out, Lock it in, Crank it up!


The Neville Brothers - Fiyo On The Bayou | Releases | Discogs


Neville Brothers - Fiyo on the Bayou


Osborne, Anders - Coming Down - Music


Anders Osborne - COMING DOWN



Jon Cleary - Occapella!


The Dirty Dozen Brass Band – My Feet Can't Fail Me Now (1984, Vinyl) -  Discogs


Dirty Dozen Brass Band - My Feet Can't Fail Me Now



James Booker - Montreaux 1978



Cosimo Matassa's Studio - Music Rising ~ The Musical Cultures of the Gulf  South


Cosimo Matassa


Vector illustration. Monochrome retro microphone for voice, music, sound,  speak, radio recording. Jazz, blues, rock vintage mic. Clip art with  contour for graphic design. Isolated on white background 25668220 Vector  Art at


J&M Recording Studio

838 - 840 North Rampart St

The original site is one of rock’n’roll’s most hallowed spots: essential tracks such as “Tutti Frutti” and “I Hear You Knocking” were recorded here, before studio owner Cosimo Matassa moved his facilities to Governor Nicholls Street across the French Quarter. The original space is now a laundrette.



Vector illustration. Monochrome retro microphone for voice, music, sound,  speak, radio recording. Jazz, blues, rock vintage mic. Clip art with  contour for graphic design. Isolated on white background 25668220 Vector  Art at


Cosimo Recording Studios

521 Governor Nicholls Street

After leaving North Rampart Street, Cosimo Matassa set up a new operation on Governor Nicholls Street. It was here that the legendary Allen Toussaint laid down the blueprint for the New Orleans sound of the 60s and 70s.



Allen Toussaint

Sea-Saint Studio

3809 Clematis Street

In the 70s, Allen Toussaint set up his own recording studio here in the Gentilly area. The building is now home to a hairdresser’s.



We Got A Party - The Party Boys

Every year, this particular track is always jumping into my Mardi Gras playlist!  The gang that's singing the tune aka The Party Boys really bring a wild mojo vibe to the party!  If I didn't know better, I'd be thinking that them Party Boys been hittin' the hooch!




Jon Cleary (born August 11, 1962) is a British-born American Funk and R&B musician who is based in New Orleans, where he has studied the “musical culture and life of New Orleans”. Cleary is an accomplished pianist as well as being a multi-instrumentalist.

Several years ago, I happened to be in New Orleans and stopped by my favorite record store, Louisiana Music Factory, and lo and behold there was Jon Cleary playing a musical history of all the great piano players that he studied on in New Orleans.  It was a most wonderful moment in time.

The next track on the playlist is a song called Fortune Teller (written by Allen Toussaint) under the pseudonym Naomi Neville); the original version was by Benny Spellman but as you're about to hear, Jon Cleary  takes hold of this song & takes it to an entirely different dimension!





In 1976, Tom Waits created a beautiful song about New Orleans that was called I Wish I Was In New Orleans on his Small Change album.  This Tom Waits piece definitely captures the essence of New Orleans.  The tune has a wistful melody and lyrics that combine both sadness and joy as the song rolls along.  It's such a beautiful piece that has always stayed with me.






Well, I wish I was in New Orleans, I can see it in my dreams,
Arm-in-arm down Burgundy, a bottle and my friends and me

Hoist up a few tall cool ones, play some pool and listen
To that tenor saxophone calling me home
And I can hear the band begin When the Saints Go Marching In,
And by the whiskers on my chin, New Orleans, I'll be there

I'll drink you under the table, be red-nosed, go for walks,
The old haunts what I wants is red beans and rice
And wear the dress I like so well, and meet me at the old saloon,
Make sure that there's a Dixie moon, New Orleans, I'll be there

And deal the cards roll the dice, if it ain't that old Chuck E. Weiss,
And Claiborne Avenue, me and you Sam Jones and all

And I wish I was in New Orleans, 'cause I can see it in my dreams,
Arm-in-arm down Burgundy, a bottle and my friends and me
New Orleans, I'll be there



This track brings back many New Orleans memories for me.  I was living there in the early 1963 when my Dad took me down to Preservation Hall in the French Quarter where I heard the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Billie and Dee Dee Pierce play Peanut Vendor which to this day is a magical song that conjures up the memories of old New Orleans.  Life is so beautiful sometimes.



…and so that concludes today's Part One of this year's Mardi Gras Playlist!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!










If you got a case of Mardi Gras Fever

purchase some of our





Leave a comment