Chin Music Press - News
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A really rich life
Bruce Rutledge
August 22, 2020

We are launching an environmental imprint
Bruce Rutledge
August 3, 2020

Announcing our autobiographical novel writing contest
Bruce Rutledge
July 24, 2020

Discover Nikkei reviews Persimmon and Frog
Bruce Rutledge
May 13, 2020

For Ellis
David Rutledge
April 9, 2020

A Review of The Italian Barrel, 1240 Decatur
David Rutledge
March 30, 2020

Report from the French Quarter
David Rutledge
March 25, 2020

A Vida Count of Our Very Own
Tracy Wang
October 25, 2017

Bookshelves: the Ideal, the DIY, and the Real Life
Emmaline Cotter
June 5, 2017

Eggnog, Hot Cider, Mulled Wine, and What Else?
Jin Chang
December 15, 2016

+ see all archives +

Five Essential Post Katrina Albums
David Rutledge
25 August, 2015

As the 10th anniversary of the broken levees approaches, the editor of Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? and Where We Know: New Orleans as Home weighs in on the best music since the flood.

Note: I use “post-Katrina” as the accepted shorthand for the era after the federal flood.  Most of you who read this will recall that, in New Orleans, Katrina would have been a limited wind storm were it not for failed levees.


1. Terence Blanchard, A Tale of God’s Will (a requiem for katrina)




  > Blanchard’s God is not the vengeful God of those who blame the destruction on Southern Decadence.  The music of this album expresses the solemnity, the sorrow as well as the life-giving moments that many experienced during and after the flood.


2. Wynton Marsalis, Congo Square

  > This album beautifully combines the sounds of Africa with American jazz, swinging interestingly between the two, creating a tribute to the New Orleans setting of the birth of jazz.  It is a harmony of old and new that resonates with the post-Katrina period: “Shame on FEMA ...”


3. Christian Scott, Anthem

  > This album offers a complex and passionate response to the flood. There is an intensity to Scott’s music that is difficult to categorize, an energy that speaks of anger and creative resistance.  Scott has put out a lot of interesting and excellent music since 2005.  


4. Michael White, Blue Crescent

  > White is a master of the traditional New Orleans sound, as anyone who sees him live will attest.  This album includes slower tunes that pay tribute to the destruction as well as upbeat tunes that show the hopeful side of the city during this time.  Even a tune named “London Canal Breakdown” – named for one of the failed levees – sounds like it is intended for a second line.



5. Dirty Dozen Brass Band, What’s Going On

  > The band makes a version of Marvin Gaye’s 1971 album of the same name, showing the relevance of Gaye’s songs to New Orleans after the storm.  From Chuck D. on the first tune, “What’s Going On,” to Guru on the last, “Make Me Wanna Holler,” this album looks for hope in post-flood New Orleans as Gaye’s did in another period of destruction and distrust.

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