Groove interrupted: Loss, renewal, and the music of New Orleans

Groove interrupted: Loss, renewal, and the music of New Orleans
Food and Fun

POSTED: Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 11:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 3:58pm

The highs and lows of New Orleans' recent history are reflected in the city’s storied music community, a vibrant, idiosyncratic medley of rhythm & blues, jazz, rock and rap.

The music writer for the Times Picayune, Keith Spera, recants his experiences interviewing musicians for the newspaper and other publications with an emphasis on what those musicians experienced during and after Hurricane Katrina; change, loss and gain.

In GROOVE INTERRUPTED, musicians confront challenges and adversity that threaten their ability to make music. These intimately reported, contemporary narratives, resonate with joy, sadness, defiance, humor, hope, heartache and resolve.

Aaron Neville returns to New Orleans for the first time after Katrina to bury his wife. Fats Domino improbably rambles around Manhattan to promote a post-Katrina tribute CD. Alex Chilton lives anonymously in a battered cottage in the Treme neighborhood.

Platinum-selling rapper Mystikal rekindles his career after six years in prison. Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard struggles to tell the tale of Katrina with music. Hard rocker Phil Anselmo battles multiple demons to find a measure of peace. The Rebirth Brass Band’s Phil Frazier restores himself even as his band supplies the soundtrack for an entire city’s renewal.

Allen Toussaint, Pete Fountain, Gatemouth Brown, the rapper Juvenile, trumpeter Jeremy Davenport and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis are also featured in GROOVE INTERRUPTED. Each story stands on its own; together, they convey a sense of what New Orleans music was and is, in spite of Katrina’s interruption. A common theme emerges: the spirit of the Crescent City, as personified by its musicians, is unbreakable.

Click here to find a copy of the book.

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