Nine Lives, the complete Collection - 2 disc compendium
  • Nine Lives, the complete Collection - 2 disc compendium
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review by John Swenson Here we have the complete “score” for Nine Lives: A Musical Story of New Orleans, combining the 24 songs released last year with 15 more written as part of the original conception but recorded in separate sessions toward the end of last year at Piety Street Studios. This ambitious project includes more than 100 New Orleans musicians and dozens of collaborators from elsewhere, and is a prime example of the way New Orleans artists and friends have responded to the historic cataclysm of Katrina and the ensuing federal flood. Art, and folklore in particular, is uniquely suited to express the unfathomable emotional terror unleashed on a populace by the destruction of generations-old cultures. Art can express such inarticulate grief in mythic, dreamscape fashion and Nine Lives does this masterfully. Katrina brought journalist Dan Baum to New Orleans to write a series of pieces about a city in recovery and led him to write the city’s back story, covering the time between Hurricane Betsy (1968) and the contemporary calamity of Hurricane Katrina. Baum told this story through the lives of nine New Orleanians. Without the destruction brought by the flood, Nine Lives never would have been written…

With Paul Sanchez, Michael Cerveris, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Matt Perrine, and, literally, 101 more musicians.

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