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.
(He’s also employing some used Rémy Martin cognac casks for aging.) Today, Cane Land Distilling sells four styles of rum, including a traditional molasses-based rum, a Martinique-style rhum agricole (made from fresh-pressed sugarcane) a spiced rum and a cinnamon rum. She was feted with lamb chops and oysters at Galatoire’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street. It was named best cocktail ingredient this year in Although the largest and most famous Mardi Gras in America is celebrated in New Orleans, there’s a lot of evidence pointing to the idea that the first such event did, in fact, take place about 150 miles to the east and 15 years before the Crescent City was founded — in Mobile, Alabama, in 1703.
(He also makes a vodka from sugarcane, and sells a whiskey “imported” by riverboat down the Mississippi). The Barkus parade in New Orleans is getting ready to roll. (I was served an iced tea, sweet.) On parade day, a team of young and sturdy animal shelter volunteers pushed us through the streets of the French Quarter in a rickety wooden float. In 1699, the explorer Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, had named his Plaquemines Parish campsite “Pointe du Mardi Gras,” realizing that, as he and his party were bedding down by the river, that very holiday was taking place in France.
Davis booked Tee, who would soon form the seminal New Orleans funk band the Gaturs, to play a show alongside Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias on Tulane’s campus.
Onstage, the traditional sound of Indian chants, drums and tambourines met electric soul music likely for the first time.
He sought the young chief out again with a request: Dollis should write a new Indian song, something original, and they’d make a record.
Davis was also a fan of keyboardist Willie Tee, who’d had several R&B hits — notably “Teasin’ You” — in the mid-’60s.
Both men were in their early 20s; Davis, the future New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival producer, was a Tulane undergraduate with a voracious interest in New Orleans music and street culture; while Dollis, just a couple of years older, was already Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians.
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.
According to Jason Berry’s New Orleans music history, , it was the photographer Jules Cahn, who had been shooting second-line parades and jazz funerals since the ’50s, that invited young Davis to a White Eagles Indian practice at a small Central City lounge.
Davis brought a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and as he later listened to the chants and clattering percussion he’d captured, he found himself drawn in again and again by one element in particular: Dollis’ raspy, powerful, soulful voice.