It’s been five years
To mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina - and in response to the Gulf Oil Disaster also deeply affecting the region – the folks at Air Traffic Control have produced “Dear New Orleans”, a digital-only benefit compilation, the proceeds of which will be granted to a range of New Orleans-based nonprofit organizations including Sweet Home New Orleans and Gulf Restoration Network.
To do our tiny part, we have a new song, “Crescent”, included on “Dear New Orleans” which will be released & available for download on Tuesday, August 24th at the Dear New Orleans site, as well as at the usual lineup of your preferred places of digital business (iTunes, Amazon.com, Rhapsody and eMusic.com).
Tying it all together nicely, Charles will be debuting the song the same night, Tues., 8/24, as part of Bird of Youth’s every-Tuesday-night-in-August residency at the Living Room here in NYC. The Bird of Youth players have graciously, even foolishly, agreed to be backing band for the song that night. Charles will reciprocate to completely different effect by dragging a couple of their songs (Bombs Away and a Squeeze cover) down a few drains.
About Air Traffic Control
Air Traffic Control is a nonprofit resource for activist and philanthropic musicians who along with the Future of Music Coalition, have been co-hosting a series of artist activism retreats in New Orleans since 2006. Artists are given the rare opportunity to connect directly with the people of New Orleans, the tradition bearers and community leaders who are on the front lines of rebuilding and sustaining this vital city.
Charles was honored to be invited to one of the retreats a couple years back and it was, without much understatement, life-changing. It also, to paraphrase Air Traffic Control’s own mission statement, instilled a sense of empowerment for what can be accomplished through activism and music.
About the Dear New Orleans comp itself:
The “Dear New Orleans” comp itself is a musically impressive affair and honestly, would be worth your tough-earned dollars even if those dollars weren’t going to worthy causes.
See the Dear New Orleans site for the stellar lineup & running order. And a free download from the comp.
About our contribution:
When ATC asked if we’d be interested in helping out, Charles had this grandiose notion of using one of his demos for our own upcoming record, writing new lyrics to reflect his experience on the ATC-sponsored NOLA retreat, the wonderful folks he met there, some of their stories, etc.
But then life intervened w/ a premature second baby so we submitted an entirely different demo of his, an early version of one of the songs for our next album. So technically, broadly-defined, a new wrens’ song…
About some of the Orgs doing the work:
Sweet Home New Orleans is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the individuals and organizations who define New Orleans’ unique musical and cultural traditions.
They began their work immediately after the levees broke in 2005 helping the New Orleans musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure Club members get on their feet, get to work, and revitalize their communities and the cultural economy of New Orleans. And they did this by raising & distributing over $2.5 million in financial assistance to more than 2,500 members of the city’s music community.
Gulf Restoration Network is a 16 year-old environmental group committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Since the storms of 2005, they have worked for a national commitment to the restoration of the coastal wetlands of Louisiana, the region’s natural storm protection, which are disappearing at the rate of an acre an hour. The BP drilling disaster has greatly increased threats to this ecosystem, and GRN has provided independent monitoring and advocacy since the first days of the disaster.
We’re honored to lend the little help we can, our song in this case, to Dear New Orleans. We encourage each of you to check out this amazing compilation and do what you can to help make a difference for the Gulf Coast.
For more information on Dear New Orleans, a free download from the compilation, and to learn more about how you can help the Gulf, please visit Dear New Orleans.