Big Chief Monk Boudreaux Grammy Nominated for Regional Roots Album

Article Contributed by Devious Planet | Published on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux's album, Bloodstains & Teardrops has been nominated for a Grammy in the 'Best Regional Roots Album' category. The album, released on May 21, 2021, by Tab Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou Records, was produced by Benoit and Rueben Williams.

The oldest living Mardi Gras Indian Chief, Boudreaux is the elder of elders in a tradition dating back to the 1880s. He is a cultural hero,a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Award, and a well-loved American musical legend. His vast discography includes many records with the Golden Eagles, collaborations with Anders Osborne, Galactic, John Gros and 101 Runners. Nodding to history but clearly thriving in present day, this living legend has performed on Saturday Night Live with Robbie Robertson and has currently been enjoying airplay on Sirius XM's B.B. Kings Bluesville station.

On Bloodstains & Teardrops, the Caribbean cultures of Jamaica and New Orleans collide. The island and the swamp, both find inspiration from the music of the slaves in New Orleans Congo Square. Chief Monk demonstrates its similarities in lyrical, musical, and cultural content. On his journey from the island​ ​to​ ​the​ ​swamp ​he​ ​is​ ​joined​ b​y an array of musical legends including Tab Benoit, Michael Doucet, and Johnny Sansone as well ​as a host of Jamaican​ ​and​ ​Louisiana​ ​musicians​.​

For this project, Monk traveled to Jamaica, finding his Reggae groove with local island musicians. "My manager Rueben Williams suggested we go to Jamaica and make a record, when I got there, I found that Bob Marley had been a fan of mine for many years."

Monk recorded with the reggae band and a toasting-style backup vocalist at Tad’s International Limited studio in Kingston. The six songs he cut, reflected on the inspiration he received from being in Jamaica and seeing the parallels to his New Orleans home. The lines between blues, swamp music and reggae become blurred as Monk developed his songs.

Bloodstains & Teardrops is a beautifully produced album from a near-octogenarian cultural and musical icon. On this recording, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux successfully blurs the lines between blues, swamp music and reggae, imparting wisdom along the way.