It’s been the topic of a 2008 PBS documentary, a 2017 New York Times article and photo essay, and certainly plenty of good-natured arguments between Alabamians and Louisianans over the decades.On the Saturday preceding the Courir de Mardi Gras years ago, I found myself winding through an early-morning street party towards the sound of an accordion ringing out bright and tinny from a tiny nearby bar.for a morning full of tunes, hobble-stepping and beers, broadcast live on local radio station KVPI-FM from nearby Ville Platte.A pinprick of a town with no more than 3,500 residents, Mamou has become a touchstone for all things fiddle-and-accordion, and a destination point for visitors from around the globe.Along with their uncle, piano player George Landry — also known as Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians founder Big Chief Jolly — the Neville Brothers participated in the recording of a masterful platter of Indian funk with The Wild Tchoupitoulas in 1976.Zigaboo Modeliste, who also played with Art Neville in the Meters, drummed on the Tchoupitoulas release as well.
Journalists, photographers and filmmakers began chasing the story behind the wild men and women in their elaborately beaded and feathered suits who took to the streets on Carnival Day, banging drums and shouting chants in a hybrid language.It processes sugar from nearly 50,000 acres of sugarcane grown across South Louisiana, with much of that ending up in packets and five-pound bags on your grocery store shelves. Walter Tharp, whose family owns the mill, diverts a portion of that sugar for making rum at a gleaming new distillery and tasting room that opened last spring near the banks of the Mississippi in Downtown Baton Rouge. But everyone is making a fuss over my dog, Luna Biscuit. Many lost and unclaimed animals had to be put down. Biscuit is heterochromatic, meaning that her eyes are different colors. The condition in humans is usually the result of a childhood virus, whilie in canines, it is a rare but natural optical quirk, affecting about one out of every 100,000. The couple makes flavorful, natural syrups, including Honeysuckle & Peppercorns, a Spiced Demerara sugar syrup, and seasonal King Cake, which combines cinnamon, pecan, and lemon with Louisiana sugarcane.Tharp spent years planning the distillery — the idea of which took root when he attended a wedding held by a sugarcane-growing and rum-distilling family in Central America. ” He initially dismissed the question — “We don’t make candy bars, either,” he remembers thinking — but the idea began to gnaw at him. So after years of obstacle jumping, site scouting and permit applying, he hired distiller Jonny ver Planck and ordered an impressive copper still from Vendome Copper & Brass Works, the nation’s premier fabricator of stills. It took the work of heroes to save the blessed few from their morbid fate. Meredith is one of the “true believers.” A dog rescuer. In 2007, Biscuit came to the attention of the Barkus folks. The idea for the sugar syrups emerged from Messier’s decade-long tenure behind cocktail bars in New York and New Orleans, and the couple’s goal is to allow home bartenders to make drinks at home that could compare favorably with cocktails made at the better craft cocktail bars. But instead of a bunch of masquerading rich folks tossing baubles and beads from floats to the crowds assembled in the streets below, Barkus is a gathering of costumed four-legged friends trundling through the streets of the French Quarter and generally making a spectacle of themselves. During those frantic times, nobody had the means, time, energy or money to actually save all those pets. But she’s still my spirit dog, the one with the omniscient eyes, incandescent stare, indefatigable mischief and uncompromising loyalty. They also require quality mixers, bitters and syrups. Born of a 12-pack and a clever idea, the krewe’s name is a play on the name of the famous New Orleans super-krewe, Bacchus. She was one of thousands of strays rescued in those weeks and months after the two storms, hauled off to a temporary shelter and, after failed efforts to locate her owner, scheduled for the euthanasia line. But quality cocktails don’t consist of spirits alone.
Themes of lost love, family and — of course — celebration are often the heartbeat of traditional ballads, and they have the unique ability to make even the deepest cynic get misty-eyed (or a complete klutz try out the floor at a dance hall).