Bury the Hatchet

by: Anders Osborne

Swedish-born Anders Osborne has made the city of New Orleans his own, immersing himself in its idiosyncratic ways. Certainly one of the most unique subcultures in the city is that of the Mardi Gras Indians. Osborne has teamed up with one of the best-known Mardi Gras Indians of them all, Monk Boudreaux, to create this CD with its appropriate title of Bury the Hatchet. The songs on the album are a mixture of Mardi Gras Indian tunes and Osborne originals. The recording starts right in with Boudreaux announcing, "I Am the Big Chief," which, of course, he is. Formerly performing with longtime friend Bo Dollis and his Wild Magnolias, Monk Boudreaux is now chief of his own tribe, the Golden Eagles. The listener will hear songs from the street tradition, including the obligatory "Meet de Boys on de Battlefront," as well as "Dive in That Gumbo" and "Smoke It Right." The sonorous voice of Boudreaux is accompanied by fancy guitar and banjo work by Osborne, as well as some outstanding contributions by piano wizard David Torkanowsky and Kirk Joseph on the saxophone. The album also contains some folksier tunes by Osborne, such as the evocative "Summertime in New Orleans" and the pensive "Letters From Rome." The aggregation performs an interesting cover of Neil Young's "Ohio," as if to say that they know all is not right with the world. But they have not forgotten the party spirit for which the Crescent City is renowned. A rousing rendition of "Junco Partner" extols the virtues of excess in a way that would make Dr. John and James Booker proud. Fans of Anders Osborne will appreciate the lyrical qualities of their man on the CD. Perhaps the exposure will bring some new fans to the fantastic Mardi Gras Indian tradition that well deserves it. ~ Rose of Sharon Witmer

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