Color Red delivered a very special Fat Tuesday indulgence with a new collaboration featuring New Orleans greats George Porter Jr. and Big Chief Donald Harrison appropriately titled, “Mardi Gras Day”. The new single previews a forthcoming album, Floki Sessions: Boots in Place,out this summer via Eleven Music Experience.

With help from Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds), Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars), and Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power), this new ensemble brings the spirit of New Orleans and Mardi Gras to listeners around the globe. Porter, the legendary bassist for The Meters, serves as the funky bedrock for the track with Harrison providing alto sax and vocals. During the recording sessions, Roberts recalled Harrison noting that there weren’t any songs that used “Mardi Gras Day” as the hook “and the rest wrote itself.”

“It doesn’t come much more legit than a Mardi Gras anthem played by two of New Orleans’ legends, George Porter Jr. and Big Chief Donald Harrison,” Roberts said. “In fact, everyone on the track has lived or gigged heavily in New Orleans at some point in their careers. This new record captures the spirit of some classic Mardi Gras Indian tracks of the ’70s, but is brought to life in 2023!”

Related: ‘Take Me To The River: New Orleans’ Documentary Gets Release Date Ahead Of Live Tour [Video]

The title Floki Sessions comes from Floki Studios, located in the Fljót Valley in the mountainous region of Northern Iceland, where the musicians recorded. Walter originally came to the session with the groove in mind, with Roberts developing the song based on inspirations from The Wild Magnolias and other Mardi Gras Indian recordings from the 1970s. Naturally, Roberts approached Big Chief Donald Harrison, who is considered an elder statesman of the community thanks to his tenure with Terence Blanchard in the 1980s. During a recent trip to Denver for a performance, Harrison joined Roberts at Color Red Studios to put together “Mardi Gras Day”.

“Big Chief Harrison has brought a fresh spin to Mardi Gras Tradition,” Porter said. “Paying homage to that tradition is important to keeping the culture alive.” Listen to the track below.

Floki Sessions ft. Eddie Roberts, George Porter Jr., Big Chief Donald Harrison, Robert Walter, Nikki Glaspie – “Mardi Gras Day”

In honor of “Mardi Gras Day”, the artists featured on the track also compiled a playlist of songs that helped inspire their work on the new Carnival tune.

George Porter Jr. picked out a pair of Earl King numbers, “Big Chief” and “Street Parade”. Walter chose 1969 Allen Toussaint tune “We The People”. As the organist explained, “I heard this one once on WWOZ and it sounded so raw and fresh. I didn’t know who the artist was for a few years and finally found it on this compilation of old Allen Toussaint productions. It’s not a Mardi Gras tune per se, but reminds me of the feeling of energy early morning before a parade.”

Walter also added to the parade energy with The Wild Magnolias‘ “Handa Wanda” (“My favorite Mardi Gras Indian record. So funky. Truly mesmerizing music”), a selection echoed by Roberts and Harrison with alternate versions of the tune. Glaspie threw in The Wild Magnolias’ “New Suit”, which she explained “truly captures the culture of the city and Mardi Gras.” The Wild Magnolias’ version of the song is not on Spotify, so it’s replaced on the playlist by a rendition performed by Delfaeyo Marsalis & Upton Jazz Orchestra, but the original is available on YouTube and most definitely worth a listen. Listen to the full “Mardi Gras Day” inspiration playlist via the player below.

Floki Sessions also features guest appearances by Erica Falls (Galactic), Son Little, Lamar Williams Jr. (Trouble No More, The New Mastersounds, North Mississippi All-Stars), Tierinii Jackson (Southern Avenue), Eric “Benny” Bloom (Lettuce), and rising Chicago artist GreenTTea. Check out “Mardi Gras Day” below and pre-order Floki Sessions: Boots in Place here.

Mardi Gras Day: Inspiration Playlist

George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners will take the stage in New Orleans, LA as part of the 2023 edition of Daze Between New Orleans, taking place at Faubourg Brewery on Tuesday, May 2nd and Wednesday, May 3rd. The legendary Meters bassist’s solo outfit is part of an eclectic lineup featuring two nights of Goose in addition to Tank and the BangasNeal Francis, Lawrence, David Shaw of The Revivalists, EggyMelt, and more.

Tickets for Daze Between New Orleans are now on sale. For ticketing details, head here.