Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Playlist: Katrina

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath inspired many musicians and songwriters over the past two years. And not only native New Orleanians like Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr.

I’m streaming some Katrina-related tracks on my Vox blog. Click the song titles below to listen to them.

1. “Katrina” – James Blood Ulmer

Ulmer, an extraordinary jazz/blues guitarist, isn’t from Louisiana. But this track from his latest CD – “Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions” – couldn’t be more haunting and heartfelt.

Downloadable from iTunes and eMusic.

2. “Sweet Home New Orleans” – Dr. John

Perhaps the Crescent City’s greatest musical ambassabor, Dr. John released the EP “Sippiana Hericane” within months of the storm. But he originally wrote this track in the 1990s.

Downloadable from iTunes.

3. “Katrina” – Fathead

Fathead is reputed to be Canada’s hottest blues band. This zydeco stomper is off Fathead’s new album, “Building Full of Blues,” which is downloadable from eMusic.

4. “What’s Happening Brother” – The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (feat. Bettye LaVette)

A year to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band released its remake of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album, with guest artists including Chuck D and Ivan Neville. A great concept, superbly executed.

This funky track – downloadble from iTunes – demonstrates why the DDBB is considered the baddest horn band in New Orleans.

5. “A Change Is Gonna Come” – Aaron Neville

Neville’s “Bring It On Home... The Soul Classics” was also released one year after Katrina. Its mood is one of optimism and perseverance in the face of tragedy.

Aaron Neville has recorded this Sam Cooke classic twice before. And he can still break your heart with it.

Downloadable from iTunes.


Dougfp said...

Great selection of songs. For a more melancholy take on Katrina, check out Terrence Blanchard's new CD, "A Tale Of God's Will". Blanchard is a native of New Orleans and lost a relative in the hurricane. It was a very moving moment in Spike Lee's "When The Levees Broke" when he talked about it. Some of the CD is, I believe, music from the film.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks, Doug. I'll get it.