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New Orleans melting pot

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyBig Chief Monk Boudreaux and Anders Osborne play off each other on their album, "Bury the Hatchet."
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Anders Osborne and Monk Boudreaux, two New Orleans darlings from opposite ends of the spectrum, are on tour together and they’re stopping at Half Moon Saloon tonight at 10.

Osborne was raised in Sweden, but has been embraced by the Crescent City as a native son. Digging deep into nouveau hoodoo blues, he pulls out heart and soul. His rootsy approach to the slide guitar complements his husky-voiced lyrics, and his songs chronicle his own roller coaster of a life.

Wild Magnolias chanter Boudreaux was born in New Orleans and picked up music as a result of being surrounded by it. He spent his childhood hanging out with his father around the neighborhood, listening to the polyrhythms and chants of the Indians and second lining at the traditional jazz funerals.

“I’d ramble around and watch guys throw watermelons, they be singing, and I just look at them and listen to them,” he said.

Soon he, too was singing spontaneous songs coming from “deep inside… songs with a meaning.”

The two have come together to make “Bury the Hatchet.” The album is a mix of Osborne’s saucy slide work and Boudreaux’s Indian parade beats.

“For me, this album is a connection to one of the greatest experiences I had in New Orleans – seeing The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and The Golden Eagles. The impression they made will stick in my mind forever. It took over 15 years for Monk and I to get together … We just fell in love with playing together. It was really exciting.”

The Indian tribes of New Orleans are legendary within the city. They march through the city in packs, showing each other up with musical antics and pure pageantry. The more intricate the costume the better. The original New Orleans Indians helped runaway slaves, protecting them and welcoming them into their community. They evolved into organizations that preserve the African American cultural identity in New Orleans.

Boudreaux and Osborne both bring their styles to the album; neither is more prominent than the other as they trade off leads, from smokey-sounding grit to hypnotic wah wahs, they don’t traverse the same musical landscape twice.

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Anders Osborne share the stage at the Half Moon Saloon in West Vail tonight at 10. Call 476-4314 for more information.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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