Various Artists

Our New Orleans 2005

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This set of performances was recorded after Hurricane Katrina and the Bush administration's very slow response to the disaster, which decimated New Orleans. Sixteen different groups dominated by New Orleans musicians perform standards and a few newer songs, many of which have lyrics that have become quite poignant. Most of the performances are R&B-ish, but there is also a bit of traditional New Orleans jazz, blues, zydeco, and gospel. Among the most memorable selections are Irma Thomas singing Bessie Smith's "Back Water Blues" (about a mid-'20s flood), clarinetist Dr. Michael White's band jamming on "Canal Street Blues," a touching version of "The Saints" by pianist/singer Eddie Bo, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," and trumpeter/singer Charlie Miller performing unaccompanied for a touching "Prayer for New Orleans." The impressive variety and the consistently sincere feelings make this a welcome release that shows that even when New Orleans is under water, the music lives on.

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