Mardi Gras Mama!

Funky Brunchers!

Astute Boogaloo Bag readers should know by now that our pal DJ Pete Pop hosts the Funky Brunch at Mama Roux every Sunday. About once a month he invites Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus to join him. He was invited once again on February 19. That Sunday just happened to land a few days before Fat Tuesday—the day that the Mardi Gras takes place every year in the geographical locations that celebrate it. Since Mama Roux is a New Orleans-themed restaurant it was only fitting for Mama’s owner, Miss Sterling Knight, to arrange a Mardi Gras-themed event for the day. She was able to bring the Mardi Gras magic to a few blocks of downtown Newburgh, NY.

Mama Roux’s Miss Sterling dressed in her Mardi Gras finery!

This Newburgh Mardi Gras event commenced with the Funky Brunch at Mama’s. This involved DJ Pete Pop and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus playing cool, rhythmic records as folks take nourishment in the wonderful food that Mama’s serves. With the Mardi Gras theme, The Boog played a preponderance of R&B records that were recorded in New Orleans, or by musicians from New Orleans, or are about New Orleans, or are New Orleans-adjacent (ie, zydeco) plus some calypso records (the West Indies also celebrate Mardi Gras). You get the picture.

However, that was not all that was going on that day. A couple other local clubs were persuaded to get into the Mardi Gras spirit. This included The Wherehouse, a pub-like bar a block away down Liberty Street, and the Spirits Lab, a large, hanger-like bar that features custom distilled spirits.

At the Sprits Lab, not only did they have an artist painting people’s faces and a pizza food truck, but it also had our friend and hero Josh Styles spinning records in the afternoon. He had also DJed the night before at Toasted, another bar in downtown Newburgh for a related event.

At The Wherehouse, a band called The Working Dogs rocked the house, playing mostly New Orleans second line-style rhythms.

When Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Boogaloo Bag photographer Miss Nancy showed up at Mama Roux that morning, Pete Pop had just finished setting up and was starting to play records. The Boog took over so that Pete could go down to the Spirits Lab and help set up the sound system there. After he returned, The Boog and Miss Nancy went down to the Spirits Lab to visit with Mr. Styles, who was playing some bangin’ rekkids!

The Funky Brunch ended around 5. We then walked down to The Wherehouse, where Miss Sterling was rounding up folks for a parade up the street to Mama Roux, where Mardi Gras festivities would continue. The members of The Working Dogs were part of the parade, banging on things, playing through battery-operated amps and leading the parade-goers in “hey-pocky-way” chants. Also, some drag queens were involved.

Back at Mama’s, the place was packed. The Working Dogs set up and played more New Orleans style music until about 8:30. There was a brief drag queen event, then DJ Pete Pop spun a few boss records before giving way to Josh Styles.

Josh Styles has not been involved with DJing as much as he once was. Around fifteen years ago the Smashed! Blocked! discotheque party of Boss Sounds was the most fantastic dance party going in New York City. These days, though, he’s too busy for all that. As one of the owners and operators of Rebel Rouser—a Brooklyn record store—he is constantly on the hunt for records to sell there. Plus, Daddy Long Legs, the super boss blues band he drums with, has been touring and recording heavily. A new album and another tour is in the works. So Mr. Styles’ DJ activities have not been as prolific as they once were; which is a shame because Mr. Styles is hands-down the best DJ of Boss Sounds on the planet. He proved that once again on the Saturday night at Toasted and then Sunday night at Mama Roux. It’s possible that other DJs may have better records than Mr. Styles, but no one can spin them as well. Where others may play fabulous records, Mr. Styles plays records fabulously. The difference may be subtle, but those who know appreciate the thought process that goes into Mr. Styles’ style.

Below is a list of the fabulous records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at The Funky Brunch, Mardi Gras edition:

None of these records are for sale. Please note that the smaller photos will expand upon selection.


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