Here's what music critic Brett Milano says about Mickey Bones in the Boston Phoenix;

Probably a short list of rules for musicians who want to play authentic New Orleans sounds. First, you oughta be funky. You should eat a mess of crawfish and have your Professor Longhair down pat. Most of all you shouldn't come from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Drummer/bandleader Mickey Bones has broken that last rule, but he's been behind most of the home grown bands who've played Crescent City music with any degree of credibility - starting with the Boogaloo Swamis whom he founded in the early 80's. Currently he leads no fewer than five bands, four of which make their recorded debut on the just-released Swamptone Sampler (on the Swamptone label, which Bones and his musical partner Joe Pete Wetherbee run from deep in the bayous of West Somerville).

Over coffee at the Middle East last week, Bones explained the real secret of of being a Louisiana-flavored drummer. "I call it the slop factor." he said. "You keep a steady beat and throw in these little rolls, (flams and) what they call ruffs. It's also knowing where the (music) came from; a lot of the New Orleans sound comes from the combination of West African beats and European melodies. Before I went to New Orleans, I was thinking too much about speed, putting that before the groove. Down there you learn that being fast doesn't mean it's groovy. I think the humidity makes people play that way. You don't learn it; you're forced into it by the weather conditions."

Bones learned his slop from the source, having temporarily moved to New Orleans in 1989 and spent two years commuting between jazz bands in the French Quarter and R+B acts uptown. During days he played street corners in the Quarter, and he saw an approach to live music that one doesn't find at home. "I was playing blues on Royal Street with a guy named Augie Jr., and thats where I learned how to work the street if you're gonna play. You have to get right in peoples faces and get them to put money in the box. I mean, Augie used to chase people down the street if they hadn't put anything in the box. One time a transient street guy was trying to play flute with the band. The first time Augie told him not to do it; the second time he smashed his head against a fire hydrant. Fortunately the guy didn't die and Augie didn't get arrested."

Leading bands in Boston is presumably a more mellow gig. There's a wide variety of music on Bone's sampler CD. The Hot Tamale Brass Band do a high spirited take on Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin' " and an original "New Cambridge March". Sticky Chicken are the oddest entry; they do unlikely versions of American folk songs (their version of "Buffalo Gals" is almost as weird as Malcolm Mclaren's hip-hop version a couple of years back). "That's my inspirational band," Bones says. "I'm attempting to bring this to schools and direct it to the unsuspecting children - giving them the traditional songs they hate so much, but with new verve and different beats."


Willie Alexander

"Members of the Doors"


Treat Her Right

Dr. John

Aaron Neville

John Fogerty

Los Lobos

Roomfull of Blues

Guitar Junior

Billy Joe Shaver

Johnny Copeland

Debbie Davies

Pinetop Perkins

Hubert Sumlin

Clifton Chenier

Boozoo Chavis

Townes Van Zant

David Bromberg

Richard Thompson

the Del Feugos,

Violent Femmes

the Village People

G - Love and Special Sauce

Tex and the Horseheadst

Los Lobos

C. J. Chenier,

Buckwheat Zydeco

Evan Jones and the H - Bombs

Sleepy Labeef

the Paladins

the Tailgators

James Cotton

Koko Taylor,

Lonnie Mack

Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys

George Thorogood

Roy Bookbinder

the Phister Sisters

Michael Hurley

Black Uhuru with Sly and Robbie

Bo Diddley

Rockin’ Sidney

Rick Danko (from The Band)

Pine Top Perkins

Van “Piano Man” Walls

Kenny Neal

D.L. Manard

Catie Curtis

Little Queenie

John Mooney

Wayne Bennett

Jim Kweskin

Rockin’ George Ley

Bryan Lee

“Sax” Gordon Beadle

Boogaloo Swamis

Hot Tamale Brass Band

Screaming Coyotes


the Hubcaps


Green Linen


Flying Fish



Tone Cool


Chris Ballew

Jill Sobule

Jim Kweskin

Four Piece Suit

Danny Kootch

Bob Franke

Michael Hurley

David Maxwell

the Breeders (demos)

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish

Pale Brothers w/Mark Sandman

Jimmy Ryan and Wooden Leg

David Maxwell

David Lindley (demos)

Boogaloo Swamis

Screaming Coyotes

Played Drums Live With

He Has Recorded With

He Has Recorded on These Record Labels

Mickey Bones Has Toured Europe

Thirty-Three Shows in France

Twelve sold out shows shows in Norway and Sweden

Twenty-Eight Sold Out Shows in Germany and Austria

He Has Appeared in Two Major Motion Pictures As An Extra

JFK - Oliver Stone. He was in a scene with Kevin Bacon, Joe Pesci

and Tommy Lee Joness


The 2004 Version of Fever Pitch as the drummer for the Hot Tamale Brass Band in which they also used one of their songs

Notable Bands Mickey Bones Has Opened Up For