Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sweet Home New Orleans

Just got back from a three day artist activism retreat in New Orleans. It was one of the most eye opening and inspiring times of my life. I can't believe that it has been so long since Hurricane Katrina and there is still so much destruction down there. So many lives and homes ruined and so many people still displaced. We met with alot of truly amazing musicians down there. People whose stories will stay with me forever. They have seen their communities, homes and careers ripped apart and still they have so much spirit. They aren't people who just sit on their hands complaining about the cards that life dealt and complaining about how their government has failed them. They make the best of it and put their hearts and souls into perserving their traditions and helping eachother get back on their feet and back to their homes. There is a great organization called Sweet Home New Orleans that raises money to try to help displaced musicians, Mardi Gras Indians and Social and Pleasure Club members. The traditions of music in New Orleans shaped alot of the sounds that make up American music and it breaks my heart to see people who have done so much for us as a culture have to go through such hardship. You can visit their site at and find out ways you can help out.
At the end of the retreat we did a benefit show at Tipitina's and played with New Orleans own Bonerama backing everyone up. Sickest band I've ever played with! Four trombones! It was such an magic night, show, everything. A handful of strangers brought together to see this mess close up and help us to figure out how we can help this and even things in our own communities. I saw alot of parallels to Asbury Park down there and I walked away from this knowing that it is possible for us musicians to be able to help our towns and others that really need it in the right way.
More stories and pictures from this trip on the way........


Craig said...

Hey Nicole,
It was freaking awesome to have you in N.O. and to meet you and play music with you. That was a killer night off music and we had a blast playing with you and the rest of the peeps. It was an amazing show that ranks at the top of the 4 we have already done.
Take care baby and we'll meet again for sure.

Lauren Busch Singer said...

If you like Bonerama, you've got to check out their rendition of Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me" on FUNKY KIDZ. This is a cool compilation featuring 12 of Nawlins' finest, including the Radiators, George Porter Jr., Walter Wolfmann Washington, Papa Grows Funk and more doing funked up covers of classic kid songs we all know and love. Perfect for the kid in all of us. Check it out at