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The Wild Tchoupitoulas

The Wild Tchoupitoulas

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Album Review

The Wild Tchoupitoulas — a group of Mardi Gras Indians headed by George "Big Chief Jolly" Landry — only released one album, but that one record caused a sensation upon its initial 1976 release. It was one of the first records of the album-oriented rock generation that captured the heady gumbo of New Orleans R&B and funk. Landry may have fronted the Wild Tchoupitoulas, but the key to the record's success was his nephews, Charles and Cyril Neville, who headed the rhythm section. They drafted in their brothers, Art and Aaron, to harmonize, and thereby unwittingly gave birth to the band that became the Neville Brothers. Still, the fact that The Wild Tchoupitoulas ranks among the great New Orleans albums isn't because of the Nevillles themselves, but the way the Wild Tchoupitoulas lock into an extraordinary hybrid that marries several indigenous New Orleans musics, with swampy, dirty funk taking its place in the forefront. There are only eight songs, and they are all strung together as if they're variations on the same themes and rhythms. That's a compliment, by the way, since the organic, flowing groove is the key to the album's success.

Customer Reviews


The Wild Tchoupitoulas were introduced to me through a 'best of Mardi Gras' type album. Meet the Boys on the Battlefront was the song, and from that point on, I was hooked. The Tchoupitoulas' album is essential for anyone who loves New Orleans R&B/Funk, or just soulful music. The downright nasty rhythm coupled with the chant-like vocals stir a gumbo of memories one has of New Orleans. A great album for anyone who loves to party.

The Wild Tchoupitoulas

Having grown up on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain, I was raised on the sounds of New Orleans. My high school had dances in the 60's featuring the Best of New Orleans bands: Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas, Deacon John and the Ivories, Art and Aaron Neville and the Hawkettes, etc. So, when in 1976 I saw this album in a record store, I just had to buy it. It has been one of my favorite records since then. I was extremely excited to find and purchase it on iTunes, now I can listen to it and delight in the fact that it was one of the greatest musical creations to come out of the Crescent City. I recommend it to anyone who has ever enjoyed New Orleans music.

The Wild Tchoupitoulas

A sheer delight from beginning to end! A masterpiece! A stone soul classic! An essential New Orleans disc!


Formed: Louisiana

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

The Wild Tchoupitoulas — Spy Boy (Amos Landry), Trail Chief (Booker Washington), Big Chief Jolly (George Landry), Flag Boy (Carl Christmas), the Third Chief (Thomas Jackson), and Second Chief (Norman Bell) — are a Mardi Gras ceremonial parade group and "Black Indian tribe" based in New Orleans....
Full Bio
The Wild Tchoupitoulas, The Wild Tchoupitoulas
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Customer Ratings