On Mardi Gras morning, your eyes may feast on the intricate & elaborate beadwork of the Indians as they dance down the street, but the first thing you’ll hear when they make their way toward you is the back line, known as “the rumble”. Featuring 6 Grammy-nominated musicians, The Rumble is more than just a band — it is an opportunity to be immersed in a wholly unique facet of New Orleans culture. Composed of Second Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr. of the Golden Eagles, trumpeter Aurélien Barnes, trombonist José Maize Jr., bassist TJ Norris, guitarist Ari Teitel, keyboardist Andriu Yanovski, and drummer Trenton O’Neal, the group fuses iconic New Orleans funk in the vein of The Meters & The Neville Brothers — but updated, modern & vibrant befitting the next generation with electrifying brass and the singular visual splendor of the Black Masking carnival tradition. Their live show is a symphony of rich color & propulsive sound, with each member sharing vocal duties and engaging the audience in the classic Mardi Gras Indian-style call-and-response chanting. The group pays homage to trailblazers like Wild Magnolias & Golden Eagles, both of which featured the vocal stylings of Boudreaux’s father, Monk Boudreaux. The Rumble continues the fight to preserve the legacies and traditions of the community for the next generation while bringing new layers of depth to their live performance. The Rumble provides audiences with not only a top-tier musical event, but a chance to participate in a culture that, while deeply rooted in centuries-old tradition, is thriving and evolving through the active work of this next generation of bold and passionate culture-bearers.
I had the pleasure of connecting with Aurélien Barnes ahead of The Rumble’s June 10th headlining set at the Marquette Waterfront Festival. We get deep into what the party this band will be bringing with it to Madison should look and sound like. We dive head and ear first into the band’s debut album, “Live At The Maple Leaf” and how the band went from being within the entity know as Cha Wa to to where they are proudly representing the past, present and future of the complete NOLA scene as The Rumble. We talk a little about a couple of the many cool traditoions that come with this world that we get to share in stories of. Aurélien makes up a setlist that would definitely keep the listeners tuned in and wanting more, just like we will feel when The Rumble do their thanG on June 10th.