Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Drive By Truckers Join Booker T and Bettye Lavette for PBS' Artists Den

The music that was written here, the blues music that was written here, has been a huge influence on the way I relate to musical structure. The marching bands with the tuba, and the horns, and the clarinet, were probably the most profound influence, that established a set a chord changes. It established a template for writing blues, and blues bars...I can't imagine anywhere else in the world that would have happened because of the convergence of cultures here. There's no place in the world like New Orleans. -Booker T
As I mentioned yesterday, it's continually fascinating to me how the musical fingers that originated within the city limits of New Orleans are so long that they've wound up into so many other musical styles and genres. Be it rock, indie, soul, hell even techno, any style can trace itself back to the template Booker T speaks of it seems-it's truly one of our American treasures.

The PBS show Artists Den filmed an episode last April, bringing Booker T and Bettye Lavette back together with the Drive-By Truckers at the Patrick F. Taylor Library in the University of New Orleans' Ogden Museum of Southern Art. It might seem a bit strange, the combination, until you learn that the Truckers were handpicked by Booker for his backing band on his recent Grammy-winning record, Potato Hole, after seeing them at SXSW a couple years ago. As for Lavette, she had them backing her on her new record Scene of the Crime. (Fun fact: Patterson Hood's dad, with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, was the band used for Lavette's first full-length record back in 1972).

In addition to the performance, each artist said a few words about New Orleans and its impact on their music, as well as music overall. Patterson Hood even went as far to say, "Any musician who isn't inspired by New Orleans' history, heritage, music...or just walking down the street and breathing the wet air is not to be trusted."

It doesn't just stop at musicians, Patterson. Some naysayers believe/believed New Orleans should not be helped by taxpayers elsewhere to rebuild. I dunno, it seems giving away taxpayer money to help guarantee the survival of this American treasure is far, far more likely to pay real dividends to the American taxpayer than any ‘bonus’ given out on Wall St. this year, you know? All you have to do is put the needle down on most any record from most any genre and you'll see why .

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