The first release from the upcoming second album from the Mardi Gras Indian duo brings the music into 2020.
The most interesting music in New Orleans these days works through the way traditional forms find expression that seems relevant in 2020. After a decade or two of musicians making music that hearkens back to a time that never really existed, more and more artists are thinking about what New Orleans music or Louisiana music should sound like now. “79rs Bout to Blow,” the new single from 79rs Gang, does exactly that for Mardi Gras Indian music.
In 2013, Big Chief Romeo Bougere of the 9th Ward Hunters and Big Chief Jermaine Bossier of the 7th Ward Creole Hunters came together to make Indian music that makes its debt to hip-hop clear. On the new “79rs Bout to Blow,” second line percussion remains important, but that is paired with a bass synth throb that decisively marks the music as a product of 2020 and not some vague moment in the last 30 years. James Martin contributes a sax part that producer Eric Heigle drops in like a sample to underline the hip-hop sensibility. That currency makes the Mardi Gras Indian tradition seem alive and vital.
“79rs Bout to Blow” is the first release from Expect the Unexpected, due out later this spring on Sinking City Records.
We interviewed 79rs Gang in 2018.