In creating this album, New Orleans native Michelle Jacques, along with Rhonda Crane, Bryan Dyer, Jay Lamont, Donna Viscuso, Sam Bevan and Adam Goodhue, took the influences of jazz, funk, soul, Cajun or Creole or gospel, Caribbean, African, Zydeco, the chants and stirring rhythms of Mardi Gras Indians and a few more, and stirred it into this stewpot of musical gumbo that's sweet, spicy, aromatic and definitely intoxicating. Thoroughly original, yet familiar at the same time, Chelle! and Friends combines the talents of four world-class vocalists and top-flight instrumentalists. Any Chelle! and Friends performance live or studio is like Mardi Gras itself joyous, energetic and an unforgettable experience. And this disc is no exception, as it walks through swamp pop classics such as Hey Pocky Way and Wang Dang Doodle before delivering what is perhaps the most amazing version of Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans ever recorded a song that s far more poignant in light of recent events. Then from that depth of emotion, we are lifted up with Fire Water and See You Later Alligator before being thrust into the title track, which emphasizes there ain t no getting out of Voodooville, blended with the infectious rhythms and mystic images that to this day still haunt the Vieux Carre. Despite its name, Pearly Gates is anything but gospel, and concludes the album like a glass of fine cognac after a great meal.