Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Story Behind Made in New Orleans

Welcome to our new home page and the MINO (Made in New Orleans) Blog. Below is a window into the inspiration for our upcoming July 24th release called Made in New Orleans. This project was a labor of passion, love, family, and a
celebration of the Crescent City...

Made In New Orleans began years ago. There are so many little things that make New Orleans magical and I wanted to share them with the world. We began recording tracks for this project in 2004. We went so far as to make a video of one of the songs in May of 2005. Little did we know or expect our lives would forever change on August 29th that same year. Band members were and continue to be scattered across the United States from Orlando to Los Angeles. Mind you, we all grew up within a couple two three miles or so of one another. Most of us have never lived anywhere else. Fortunately, all of the members of the band and their immediate family made it safely out of the city. We did mourn the loss of members of our extended musical family, in particular drummer and vocalist John Robichaux who remained in New Orleans with his wife in their family home in the Lower 9th Ward. Their home was overwhelmed by the flood waters. They were unable to make it to higher ground.

We did not complete all of the tracks when New Orleans flooded in 2005. We were not sure if the master tapes survived the rising waters. It wasn’t important to me, since I knew we could always recreate the songs again differently. As our lives began to take new shapes, so did this project. Made In New Orleans suddenly meant something entirely different to all of us. So many things we cherish were gone. We were not only stripped of our homes, but also in jeopardy of losing our precious way of life. I knew it was important to make a project that reflected our New Orleans, our lives, our experiences. Made In New Orleans opens with tracks by Billie and DeDe Pierce. Billie and DeDe were husband and wife and leaders of the first Preservation Hall Band. From there, the record journeys back and forth through the decades–the way New Orleans does. One minute you are driving on the highway, the next you are sitting in a 300 year old slate courtyard surrounded by jasmine vines and banana trees in the French Quarter. A track that has particular importance to me is “Over In The Gloryland”. The song was originally produced by my father, Allan Jaffe, and features Willie and Percy Humphrey. This track was recovered from a tape that I dicovered at Seasaint Recording Studios after the flood waters receded. I found the recording stored on the top shelf in the tape vault, inches above the flood line! Hence the name, The Hurricane Sessions. The song I chose to use, originally recorded in 1976, was never used. Carl Leblanc added vocals in 2006 to create a truly magical rendition of this timeless classic.

New Orleans is a city of joy. We celebrate the bitter and the sweet of life with the resonance of horns and the beating of drums. We play music at our funerals because it connects us to a higher power. We mourn and reflect as the band plays dirges such as “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” while more upbeat songs allow us to rejoice, dance and celebrate the beauty and cycle of life.

1 comment:

Ronnie Numbers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.