Talking Style: Mardi Gras Mambo

Mardi Gras Day, also known as “Fat Tuesday” is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is the last big blowout before Lent starts and fasting begins. Mardi Gras is actually a season in New Orleans, Carnival Season. Interesting factoid – the word “Carnival” loosely translates to “Farewell to the flesh”.

An iconic song played during Carnival season is “Mardi Gras Mambo,” which was written in 1953 by Frankie Adams and Lou Welsch, and originally recorded by Jodie Levens. The Hawketts, a group of New Orleans teenagers that featured 17-year-old Art Neville (The Meters, The Neville Brothers) recorded it in 1954. The song features the distinct tresillo rhythm common heard in New Orleans music styles applied to major triads.

It’s definitely a fun tune to play and use to see a practical application for the major triad.

Check out the The Hawkettes’ version:

Ted Gould III, also known as “Blyss”, is a bassist and music educator originally from New Orleans now based in the Bay Area. Connect with him at and check out his new Slap Bass course.

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