The Liner Notes From The CD
As the denizens of New Orleans were being rescued from battered rooftops after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, they had but one question resounding in their brains: Will Mardi Gras be canceled? For such is the purple-green-and-gold collective consciousness of the Crescent City’s citizens: Mardi Gras is in their DNA. No natural disaster could ever defeat the supernatural force of Louisiana’s Mardi Gras, the giddy culmination of the pre-Lenten season of balls and parades known as Carnival.
Behind the mirthful anonymity of crowns and costumes, Mardi Gras’ greatest heroes have conspired and inspired: a secret group of 19 organizing the Mistick Krewe of Comus in a private room on Royal Street in 1857, native son Louis Armstrong reigning as King Zulu in 1949, artist H. Alvin Sharpe engraving the inaugural doubloon in 1960, the unknown woman who first dared public epidermal exposure in exchange for plastic pearls, and John Preble (like Ernie K-Doe, a “Charity Hospital baby”), the masked genius who has produced New Mardi Gras Classics, a concept album destined to go down in the annals of frivolity as the “Sgt. Pepper’s of Mardi Gras music.” In pursuit thereof, Mr. Preble has assembled sonic co-conspirators who are the caviar of musicians, representing his hometown of Abita Springs, Orleans Parish and the magnolia-infused precincts of the State of Mississippi.
No future Mardi Gras party will ever be quite as riotous--no future Mardi Gras bacchanal as lusciously licentious--without a copy of New Mardi Gras Classics blaring from loudspeakers. New Mardi Gras Classics will be as indispensable to the true enjoyment of Mardi Gras as a jocular disguise, an intoxicating beverage, a convenient parking spot or a greasy fried chicken breast.
Enjoy these songs before it’s too late, heeding the judicious motto of the Knights of Momus: Dum Vivimus, Vivamus! While we live, let us live! ~ Bunny Matthews
Mr. Matthews, a resident of Abita Springs, is the creator of the cartoon characters “Vic and Nat’ly” and has previously composed liner notes for the Meters, Earl King, Smiley Lewis, the Neville Brothers and James Booker.
editors note: Abita Springs is across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans and is considered part of the New Orleans metropolitan area.
Here is a piece of a review by Alex Rawls that appeared in New Orleans' Offbeat Magazine- the Abitians have a good, spirited time playing profanely with sacred songs. One member sings at the wooly bottom of his range, “I want to be the prettiest girl on Mardi Gras,” while a yakkety sax and a driving beat back another yowling Abitian as he tries to convince women to do housework for him, promising to make them his queen at the Mardi Gras... The album’s good natured fun, with just enough strangeness to keep things intriguing, and enough craft to make the songs credible.