Dukes of Dixieland: New Orleans Mardi Gras

This project was started in October 2004 and was finally finished in August 2005, just a few days before Katrina devastated much of New Orleans. Essentially a collection of familiar tunes heard during Mardi Gras season dressed up in a new suit of clothes, it features some hip, punchy horn arrangements by guitarist Charlie Brent and showcases the potent field-holler vocals of New Orleans’ own resident blues dynamo Luther Kent.

These Dukes put a fresh twist on such Mardi Gras staples as “Carnival Time,” “All on a Mardi Gras Day,” “Go to the Mardi Gras,” “Big Chief,” “Iko Iko/Mardi Gras Mambo,” “Hey Pocky Way” and “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” Sadly, the producer of this spirited session, trombonist Brian O’Neill, died of a heart attack at age 50 less than 24 hours after the final tracks were laid down. This CD, which is guaranteed to fuel any Mardi Gras party, is dedicated to his memory.