Out Now: Dear New Orleans – Benefit Album

Out now, for the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, is Dear New Orleans A benefit album from Air Traffic Control.  The album features Laura Veirs, The Wrens, Indigo Girls, Mike Mills of R.E.M., and dozens of other artists.  Here’s how they describe the project:

Air Traffic Control has been co-hosting artist activism retreats in New Orleans for the last four years. To mark the 5 year anniversary of the storm and floods we thought it appropriate to produce a benefit album. We started by asking the 60 alumni artists who participated in the retreats if they’d be interested in donating a track for a benefit album – we had no idea over half of them would send us music.

We are grateful they did.

Some of the songs that appear on this album are specifically about the city, or the disaster. Others pay a more oblique tribute, and still others are songs that the artist played at the concert we close each retreat with.

Dear New Orleans is a letter of gratitude and promise to the city and her people — to never forget what happened and to continue to rebuild.

You can listen to the album after the jump, and you can find lots more info on the Dear New Orleans website.  I definitely encourage you to do what you can to help out, and to spread the word.

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Laura Veirs – Daytrotter Session

Laura Veirs visited the fine folks at Daytrotter back in March to lay down some beautiful, acoustic tracks.  The tracks are lush, gentle, and reminiscent of Summer evenings past.  The more I listen, the more I am captivated by them – and it seems I’m not alone.  Colin Meloy has described her most recent album – July Flame – as “the best album of 2010.”  (It’s worth noting that he said this in January, which I take to be a sign of confidence rather than sarcasm.) As her site describes it:

[July Flame] explores the emotion of mid-summer. Drenched in wood smoke, sunlight, pollinators, pastoral dales, fireworks and warm nights, her lyrics explore the dichotomy between one’s desire for permanence and security and the realization that such things rarely exist.

And there is a sense in all of these Daytrotter tracks that things are both beginning and ending at once… that the world is both waking and sleeping, and that you are, indeed, caught between the two.  Follow me for more…

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