Nine O'clock Blues: City That Care Forgot
Dr. John and the Lower 911 recorded an album in 2008 called City That Care Forgot. There was a negative reaction from a number of reviewers.
Dr. John was accused of being one of those Hollywood stars who make hay out of other people’s misery and exploiting New Orleans’ suffering.
I cannot let those attacks go by without some comments of my own.
There is no need for me to review what happened to New Orleans before and after Katrina. All of that has been well documented, if not adequately discussed. What I am going to say is that Dr. John is not some Hollywood equivalent of a carpetbagger swooping in and exploiting the situation. He is a true New Orleans native whose love of his city, its culture and history has been demonstrated time and again over the decades.
Dr. John looked at what has happened to his city and he was understandable angered and, given the lack of awareness of the ongoing problems in New Orleans’ recovery, was moved to record his feelings. He created an album that gives voice to not only his feelings but to those of a great many in New Orleans and around the country.
Count me among those.
One criticism was made against the title and the author of that one needs to do his or her homework, the name was first used for New Orleans right after the great flood of 1927 that Bessie Smith wrote about in the classic “Backwater Blues” and Randy Newman in “Louisiana 1927.”
The album, City That Care Forgot itself goes a long way to acquit Dr. John of the ridiculous accusations of exploitation. The lyrics are intense and heartfelt and I don’t understand how anyone could seriously consider those lyrics and then fault Dr. John.
Judge City That Care Forgot for yourself this week on the Nine O’clock Blues and checkout Dr. John and the Lower 911 this Labor Day weekend at the Snowy Range Music Festival in Laramie.
Louise Hoffsten is a Swedish Blues musician singer/songwriter and harmonica player. Bonnie Raitt says of Hoffsten “Louise’s passion for her music really comes through…her heart and soul’s in the Blues.” Marcia Ball says “Louise puts it all out there – sadness and trouble, defiance and the will to go on – in a pure emotive voice that holds you from the first note.”
If you haven’t heard Louise Hoffsten yet you should and you will, if you tune in this week for the Nine O’clock Blues.
Also on this week’s show we’ll enjoy one of those little treats that sometime turn up as serendipity on a reissue of an album. When the Muddy Waters classic King Bee was reissued by Epic/Legacy they included a not previously released version on “Clouds in My Heart” which we’ll give a listen.