Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Kindness of strangers

There's a lot of speculation about what will ultimately happen to the city, but if the musicians are gone for good, I think Nawlins' will never be the same again. A lot of them moved to Austin.
The city's population of more than 8,700 musicians has not only grown a bit but also diversified racially and ethnically. Relocated here indefinitely, among others, are Cyril Neville and Tribe 13, Ivan Neville and Dumpsta Funk, the Hot Eight Brass Band, the Iguanas, the Caesar Brothers Funk Box, the Radiators, and Big Chief Kevin Goodman of the Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indian tribe. Some of them have even created an ad hoc band with a name that sums up who they are today, post-Katrina: "The Texiles."
The musical community really rallied around the Katrina survivors. A lot of owners added venues and Marcia Ball threw a benefit concert that established a fund that's still distributing aid. This is why I spent most of life hanging around with musicians. They're good inclusive people and they take care of their own, along with anyone else who wanders in.

As Big Chief Kevin Goodman of the Flaming Arrows said, "We just needed someone to hug us and say it was going to be all right. We got that here."

Kind of makes you feel like taking a trip to Texas, doesn't it?


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