The rumors are true - downtown's beloved band of drunkards the Morning 40 Federation will play their last show this Friday night at One Eyed Jacks. That means fans will have to find another goal to look towards to keep themselves awake on Mardi Gras afternoon; the 40's sort of annual (enjoyed by all, remembered clearly by few) Mardi Gras night performance at Checkpoint Charlie is off the calendar.
Formed by a group of Bywater drinking buddies who thought, as guitarist Bailey Smith explained to me once, that there should be an official organization requiring people to drink a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor before breakfast, the '40s for the most part gradually learned to play their instruments over the course of being in a gigging band.
According to guitarist Ryan Scully, the band, though still all close friends, had not written any new material in some time and were "just going in different directions."
Their raucous combination of brassy bombast and vaudevillian sleaze celebrated the gleefully irresponsible, boozy culture of downtown New Orleans, earning them sold-out gigs locally and a loyal national following. After signing to the M80 label three years ago, they put out a self-titled compilation of early self-released tracks and a new studio album, Ticonderoga, in 2007. In 2008, they backed notorious soul satyr Andre Williams on the Bloodshot Records-released Can You Deal With It?