Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

Rising Sun

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AllMusic Review by

The Mardi Gras Indians are as much a part of the spirit seared into the music of New Orleans as any other cultural icons. This combination of Native American, Creole, blues, and jazz sensibilities are all present in the get-down sounds of Golden Eagle, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, and his Crescent City friends, romping and stomping their way through the streets and into your heart. Boudreaux's music is actually closer to roots rock & roll than anything else, with help from vocalist Reverend Goat Carson, various songwriters, and instrumental guests that truly let the good times roll. Excepting the poem and twangy blues on "Swing Low," and the boogie for "Captain Kirk & Custer," this is a program dedicated to the voodoo kings, medicine men, and occult figures of Southern myth and folklore, with infectious dance rhythms or shuffle as a priority. Some country music creeps in during "Brothers" with Carson's gravelly voice setting the tone, while "Hey Mama" is pure retro fun, and "Iko Iko" is as typically rooted in tradition as can be. Boudreaux himself sings and plays washboard or tambourine, but is more the spiritual leader of this band, incorporating modern electric guitars and an occasional jazz horn section in counterpoint to the traditional vibe at its base. As there are few commercial recordings in this style -- including the infamous Wild Tchoupitoulas -- Boudreaux's music reminds us where essentially all roots American music has come from, and continues to be living.

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