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New Orleans Musicians who survived

06 Sep 05 - 07:09 PM (#1558021)
Subject: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: RangerSteve

Ok, this is just a partial list, courtesy of Roots & Rhythm, a mail order CD store on the web. A complete list was sent to everyone who ordered from them, but I'm just going to mention the folks that I have heard of (the whole list is just way too long).

Christine Balfa, Marcia Ball, Beausoleil - all members, CLarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Harry COnnick, Jr., Dirty Dozen Brass Band - all members, The Dixie Cups - but lost everything, Big Cheif Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias, Fats Domino, ROckin' Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters - all mambers, Doctor John, Snooks Eaglin and family of twelve, all now homeless, Pete Fountain, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Ellis Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, Dirk Powell, Marc and Ann Savoy and family, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint.

06 Sep 05 - 07:10 PM (#1558022)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Peace


06 Sep 05 - 08:28 PM (#1558061)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Do you have a link to the entire list, RangerSteve?

I've checked websites for Spencer Bohren, The Subdudes, and The Radiators and all of them are fine.

07 Sep 05 - 09:55 AM (#1558461)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: mack/misophist

It sounds as if many got out early. Good.

07 Sep 05 - 11:58 AM (#1558558)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: greg stephens

I have just heard from Neti Vaan and Bart Ramsey: they are alive and well(they were touring in Europe at the time). No word of their home.

07 Sep 05 - 12:30 PM (#1558577)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Bee-dubya-ell

It's great to hear that so many of the well-known folks got out, but in the overall New Orleans music scene they're just the tip of the iceberg. For every Tommy Malone or Doctor John there are hundreds of other people, of all ages and playing all styles of music, who made their livings playing at clubs in and near New orleans.

One of the reasons New Orleans has been such a magnet for musicians is that the wealth of local venues has made it a place where a person could earn a living without having to spend so much time on the road. Those are the folks who've been hurt by Katrina, even if they made it out of town with all their instruments intact. Beausoleil and The Subdudes won't have any problem getting gigs, but it's gonna be tough for the members of that four-piece combo that was the house band at that little club on Magazine Street.

07 Sep 05 - 03:34 PM (#1558697)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Dead Horse

Add Mike West & family. Got e-mail to say he was on the road when disaster struck. House now under lake Pontchartrain! Most of those listed above are Louisiana musicians, but not from New Orleans itself. New Orleans gets all the publicity but I get no news of folks further afield. I guess power is out for those who would otherwise be on the net.

07 Sep 05 - 03:57 PM (#1558717)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Ernest

Also add Washboard Chaz Leary - info on his website

08 Sep 05 - 02:54 AM (#1558793)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Wilfried Schaum

News from Germany: Last midnight our well known entertainer Harald Schmidt reported in his midnight show that Fats Domino survived, with special reference to "Blueberry Hill".
Mudcatters knew before.

08 Sep 05 - 10:43 AM (#1559069)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: GUEST,Alan Day

Please have a look at my suggestion on another related subject
L.A & M Charity Concert.It is related to this discussion but a different subject.

08 Sep 05 - 12:47 PM (#1559137)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Janie

FYI Musicmakers Relief Foundation is working to find housing and gigs for New Orleans musicians, including buskers. The Foundation focuses on helping southern traditional/blues musicians over age 55 with incomes under $18,000 a year. Worthy cause even without a hurricane. The website doesn't directly address their hurricane efforts, but has contact info. to learn more.


08 Sep 05 - 10:05 PM (#1559458)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Gorgeous Gary

Any news from the Celtic community, particularly the various denizens of O'Flaherty's?

I've heard from Beth Patterson and Ron Keller who retreated to Beth's parents in Lafayette. They're both OK, but obviously no word yet on the fate of their home and studio.

-- Gary

09 Sep 05 - 01:05 AM (#1559510)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Cluin

Michael Doucet & BeauSoleil are alright.

09 Sep 05 - 01:22 AM (#1559516)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Cluin

Check here.

11 Sep 05 - 11:06 AM (#1561047)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Stilly River Sage

Musician Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown Dies
September 11, 2005

BATON ROUGE, La. - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the singer and guitarist who built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he had gone to escape Hurricane Katrina. He was 81.

Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill health for the past year, said Rick Cady, his booking agent.

Cady said the musician was with his family at his brother's house when he died. Brown's home in Slidell, La., a bedroom community of New Orleans, was destroyed by Katrina, Cady said.

"He was completely devastated," Cady said. "I'm sure he was heartbroken, both literally and figuratively. He evacuated successfully before the hurricane hit, but I'm sure it weighed heavily on his soul."

Although his career first took off in the 1940s with blues hits "Okie Dokie Stomp" and "Ain't That Dandy," Brown bristled when he was labeled a bluesman.

In the second half of his career, he became known as a musical jack-of-all-trades who played a half-dozen instruments and culled from jazz, country, Texas blues, and the zydeco and Cajun music of his native Louisiana.

By the end of his career, Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982.

"I'm so unorthodox, a lot of people can't handle it," Brown said in a 2001 interview.

Brown's versatility came partly from a childhood spent in the musical mishmash of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. He was born in Vinton, La., and grew up in Orange, Texas.

Brown often said he learned to love music from his father, a railroad worker who sang and played fiddle in a Cajun band. Brown, who was dismissive of most of his contemporary blues players, named his father as his greatest musical influence.

"If I can make my guitar sound like his fiddle, then I know I've got it right," Brown said.

Cady said Brown was quick-witted, "what some would call a 'codger.'"

Brown started playing fiddle by age 5. At 10, he taught himself an odd guitar picking style he used all his life, dragging his long, bony fingers over the strings.

In his teens, Brown toured as a drummer with swing bands and was nicknamed "Gatemouth" for his deep voice. After a brief stint in the Army, he returned in 1945 to Texas, where he was inspired by blues guitarist T-Bone Walker.

Brown's career took off in 1947 when Walker became ill and had to leave the stage at a Houston nightclub. The club owner invited Brown to sing, but Brown grabbed Walker's guitar and thrilled the crowd by tearing through "Gatemouth Boogie" - a song he claimed to have made up on the spot.

He made dozens of recordings in the 1940s and '50s, including many regional hits - "Okie Dokie Stomp," "Boogie Rambler," and "Dirty Work at the Crossroads."

But he became frustrated by the limitations of the blues and began carving a new career by recording albums that featured jazz and country songs mixed in with the blues numbers.

"He is one of the most underrated guitarists, musicians and arrangers I've ever met, an absolute prodigy," said Colin Walters, who is working on Brown's biography. "He is truly one of the most gifted musicians out there.

"He never wanted to be called a bluesman, but I used to tell him that though he may not like the blues, he does the blues better than anyone," added Walters. "He inherited the legacy of great bluesmen like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, but he took what they did and made it better."

Brown - who performed in cowboy boots, cowboy hat and Western-style shirts - lived in Nashville in the early 1960s, hosting an R&B television show and recording country singles.

In 1979, he and country guitarist Roy Clark recorded "Makin' Music," an album that included blues and country songs and a cover of the Billy Strayhorn-Duke Ellington classic "Take the A-Train."

Brown recorded with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and others, but he took a dim view of most musicians - and blues guitarists in particular. He called B.B. King one-dimensional. He dismissed his famous Texas blues contemporaries Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland as clones of T-Bone Walker, whom many consider the father of modern Texas blues.

"All those guys always tried to sound like T-Bone," Brown said.

Survivors include three daughters and a son.

23 Sep 05 - 06:37 AM (#1569074)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: ship*scat

Word is that New Orleans Celtic community, namely the musicians and dancers affiliated local chapter of Comhaltas got out with their skins. Many (including yours truely) lost our houses and everyting in them.

The sad part was that we were gearing up to produce an appearance of the the Comhaltas Tour - Echoes of Erin - the first appearance in 15 years.

Folks are scattered all over the country from California to the New York Island.

I don't know how Danny O'Flaherty made out but at least the pub SHOULD be dry.

KC King

29 Sep 05 - 07:22 AM (#1571986)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: beardedbruce

29 Sep 05 - 02:46 PM (#1572290)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Celtaddict

Thanks, KC. Geoff told me you were safe but with heavy losses; I am glad you are safe but sorry to hear the rest.
Danny O'Flaherty and family retreated safely to Texas, but unfortunately to Jasper, which Rita then basically took off the map. They are safe, he is on the road, pub survived, would not be usable probably for months, and no income to get it back in shape right now.
Patrick O'Flaherty out before, safe in VA.
Betsy McGovern, safe with family, in PA.
Justin Murphy safe, MS heading for DC area.

30 Sep 05 - 12:22 AM (#1572641)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Seamus Kennedy

There are going to be 2 benefits in the D.C. area to help tide Danny O'Flaherty over until he can get back on his feet.
The first will be at Ireland's Own,111 N. Pitt St. Alexandria, VA on Sunday October 16th.

The second will be at Ireland's Four Provinces, 3412 Connecticut Ave. Washington D.C. on Sunday October 30th (202-244-0860)

I'll be doing a set at each one along with Danny Doyle, Liam Maguire, Patrick O'Flaherrty, Ronan Kavanagh, Johnny Jump-Up and many other fine performers.

We'd love to see some D.C. area Mudcatters there.


02 Oct 05 - 11:50 AM (#1574095)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Celtaddict

Danny O'Flaherty first got into the pub on Thursday (29) to survey damage. Shutters off and windows out, tree in courtyard down taking wall/roof of shop with it; there was much water damage from rain even without actual flooding. Kitchen appliances and much of internal equipment and furnishing a complete loss.
Another benefit is happening here October 27, with Danny, Tommy Makem, the Makem and Spain Brothers, Robbie O'Connell, and Aoife Clancy, with Geoff Kaufman organizing/MCing. I will have full details in the next day or two.

24 Oct 08 - 09:28 AM (#2474799)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: GUEST,Cliff

Thirty three bodies, including blues legend Gatemouth Brown, remain above ground at the Hollywood Cemetery in downtown Orange, six weeks after Hurricane Ike washed them out of their vaults. FEMA says they've done what they're required to do, the non-profit organization that runs the cemetery says they don't have any money, and the city and county says it's not their responsibility. So what happens now?

It's not necessarily their job but Justice of the Peace Joe Parkhurst and Sparrow Funeral Home Director Wayne Sparrow have led the charge of finding a solution to the problem. "The cemetery doesn't make any money," said Sparrow. "People pay $125 to be buried there and that money covers putting the casket in the ground." Joe Burke, who passed away this past year, gave the organization $100,000 but there are stipulations that say they can only use the interest made off of the money to keep the cemetery clean. The land was originally given to a church to provide a burial ground for poor black families.

After Ike stormed through the area on Sept. 13, caskets either floated out of their vaults or the entire vault came out of the ground. Some were found several streets away. None of them opened so all of the bodies remained in their respective caskets. A D-MORT (Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team) group got help from the Sparrow family with the identification of several of the caskets while others were taken to a lab in Louisiana. Those that were identified using x-rays and dental records, were also put in new caskets courtesy of FEMA. They were brought back to Orange in 18-wheelers and join those that have not been able to be identified in three trucks that are still blocking Curtis Ave. FEMA is still paying for the three drivers of those trucks to stay and sleep in them yet they feel bringing the bodies back to the cemetery is the end of their financial responsibility.

Orange Mayor Brown Claybar says legally the city cannot use tax dollars on private property. The city also turned down Sparrow's request to store the caskets in the old downtown fire station so Curtis Ave. could be reopened. Parkhurst says the cemetery is a historical landmark and that the Texas Historical Commission hasn't said yet whether they have funds to help with the reburial. State Representative Joe Deshotel is also on his contact list.

Sparrow estimates it could take $30,000 to put the cemetery back to what it was before Sept. 13. He also said it's not as easy as taking a backhoe and digging holes. "Many of these vaults are old and delicate and many of the locations in the cemetery are hard to get to and will require a boom truck or a larger crane. So it will take someone who has experience."

Five of the bodies were reinterred Monday after gravediggers performing a funeral spent time putting caskets or vaults back in place that were close or still halfway in their original locations.

Besides the money needed, the other problem is identifying the other bodies. Finding family with poorly kept records and then asking them about their family members and possible identifying marks will be a large task. Another question not answered is how long FEMA will pay to keep the trucks and drivers in Orange? Until then 33 await their return to their final resting place.

02 Nov 08 - 12:03 PM (#2482508)
Subject: RE: BS: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Celtaddict

Wow. Sobering. Thank you for the update, Cliff.

03 Nov 08 - 07:37 AM (#2483139)
Subject: RE: New Orleans Musicians who survived
From: Uncle Phil

Update on OFlaherty's Pub three years later -- I talked to Danny last weekend. Sadly, he won't be reopening the pub. Too expensive to repair the structural damage to the building and now there is a mold problem from the water that the structural damage let in. It's also questionable if there are enough customers in New Orleans right now to make it worthwhile.
- Phil