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Mardi Gras Indian Chief Duo 79rs Gang Releases New Album ‘Expect the Unexpected’ [Listen]

Fridays mean new music, and today, we have a gem from some of the best cultural icons in the city of New Orleans: The Mardi Gras Indians. Expect The Unexpected is a full-length album that combines tradition with club and electronic elements to shine a bright light on New Orleans culture. The 79rs Gang are two rival Big Chiefs representing different wards of New Orleans, merging two different groups with the love of music.

Craeted by local artist, Ceaux Young

Chief rivals Big Chief Romeo Bougere of the 9th Ward Hunters and Big Chief Jermaine Bossier of the 7th Ward Creole Hunters put their differences aside and came together in solidarity to build a bridge with authentic New Orleans music. The 79rs Gang was originally created in 2014, when Bougere and Bossier came together to release their first more traditional Mardi Gras Indian album, Fire On The Bayou. 

Expect The Unexpected

Expect The Unexpected is an 11 track masterpiece featuring a wide array of collaborators including Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, LCD Soundsystem’s Korey Richey, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton, Haitian music collective Lakou Mizik, and many more notable musicians. The 79rs worked alongside writer & producer Eric Heigle (Arcade Fire, The Soul Rebels) to help finish the album. Heigle gave some amazing praise to the work of the 79rs, saying the solidarity of the project made this extremely unique. 

“Romeo and Jermaine are two of the baddest Indian singers out there, not to mention Romeo can play tambourine as well as anyone Ive ever seen.”

– Eric Heigle

Expect The Unexpected pays homage to the unique traditions of Mardi Gras Indian culture, while elevating each track to appeal to music lovers from around the world. The album features Mardi Gras Indian music like never heard before, augmenting and expanding the sound with hip-hop, electronic and additional modern production flourishes while keeping the core traditional elements fully intact and in focus. 

Head to the 79rs Bandcamp below to listen to the full album: 

About The Mardi Gras Indians

If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Mardi Gras Indians, the culture and history of the Indians dates back over 100 years. Men, women, and children have masked in hand-sewn elaborate feathered and beaded suits. These costumes are displayed on Mardi Gras morning each year.

Mardi Gras Indians are known for their chant call and response lyrics – which interplay with the sounds of bass drum, snare, bottles, cowbell, cymbals, and handclaps. Mardi Gras Indians tell the stories of their origins where escaped African slaves found refuge and intermarried with the Native Americans of South Louisiana.

This is the 79rs second album on Louisiana focused and vinyl-centric label Sinking City Records. For more information on 79rs Gang and “Expect the Unexpected” visit their Bandcamp here! 


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