Artist: Various Artists
Album: Our New Orleans 2005: A Benefit Album
Web: Nonesuch Product Page
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
On December 6th, 2005, Nonesuch Records will release a compilation album by New Orleans artists. All of the net proceeds from the album, entitled Our New Orleans 2005: A Benefit Album, will be donated to Habitat For Humanity and specifically earmarked for those rebuilding their lives in New Orleans. In addition, Warner Brothers Music is donating all of the production costs on behalf of hurricane victims. The worthy cause being supported by this release should be enough to make you run out and buy it the day it's released, but the music contained on this excellent disc makes it worth 10 times it's weight in gold.
Nonesuch did a fine job of bringing together a group of artists that are the "real deal". The disc simply oozes everything that's so special about the music of the big easy and paints a wide swath of styles that have one thing in common; they're all 100% New Orleans. From the mournful New Orleans Jazz funeral (as depicted on the cover) to danceable Cajun rhythms to soulful, blues-tinged R&B, Our New Orleans will make you reflect, but more importantly it will give you hope. Musicians were especially hard hit by hurricane Katrina and it's a breath of fresh air to see that the very first thing many of them did was get into a studio and raise funds for victims.
Included on this fantastic and touching compilation are:
Allen Toussaint, the most influential figure in New Orleans R&B
Dr. John, the blues and boogie rock legend whose stage name comes from a legendary Louisiana voodoo practitioner
Irma Thomas, the "Soul Queen of New Orleans"
Davell Crawford, the new "Crown Prince of New Orleans Music"