by John Tarpley
It's hard to get appropriately geared up for Mardi Gras when you're hours away from dear New Orleans. Like most, we won't make the early March trip down to the shore for Mardi Gras. But we're not fussy. A bit of gumbo and a case of Ibita beer after work on Tuesday should suffice just fine for yet another year. (That is, until someone forms a Little Rock second line, in which case, call us immediately, please.) But this year, 101 Runners, a "heavy percussive funk band" of elaborately colorful Mardi Gras Indians in gorgeous, traditional suits, will take to Arkansas for a three-day goodwill tour to spread the celebration to their neighbors to the north.
Fronted by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, formerly of the legendary Wild Magnolias funk group and — don't forget — the Biggest of Big Chiefs, 101 Runners have been Crescent City favorites for years, laying down driving, tribal beats and hypnotic voodoo call-and-response both on stage and the streets.
Thursday, Feb. 24, the Indians take to Fayetteville for a show at George's Majestic Lounge before heading down to Hot Springs on Friday for a night at the Arlington Hotel and, finally, to Little Rock for this show, at Dreamland Ballroom. $5 of the ticket price goes to the Friends of the Ballroom fund, dedicated to restoring the historic ballroom.
Take a look: 101 Runners live at French Quarter Fest