Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another Year Done Gone

Done gone and old!

I am sitting on my bed today, watching my soaps, which has been real nice as there has not been much time to relax prior to Christmas. I am stilltrying to wrap my brain around a few things, like how the year can already be over...

Well, I am looking forward to a new beginning as I think there are some cool things ahead and in store not just for me, but many of my friends. So I am happy for everybody and happy to have a nice crew to work with and be friends with.

Guess I'll try the ole "new years resolutions" things again (what the hell). Okay, I want to quit smoking, drinking, being ignant, enough with the debauchery and mayhem...oh, that does not sound very fun! Well, maybe I'll work on doing it less....less is more, right? Hmm...what else? I guess being more relaxed and sympathetic and forgiving, even to those who I may not belive deserve forgiveness. Really, I need to minimize the grey hairs standing on my head!

That's all I can think of. I am so blessed with many a good things. I want to try and keep it that way and not get in the way of myself (that seems like an issue most people have, myself included).

Happy New Year and see you in 2006!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


New Orleans Parade Schedule: (times to be announced)

Saturday, February 18





Sunday, February 19


King Arthur


Thursday, February 23




Friday, February 24


Krewe D’Etat


Saturday, February 25




Sunday, February 26





Monday, February 27



Tuesday, February 28




Crescent City

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Death of an American City

New York Times Editorial
Death of an American City
Published: December 11, 2005

We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.

We said this wouldn't happen. President Bush said it wouldn't happen. He stood in Jackson Square and said, "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans." But it has been over three months since Hurricane Katrina struck and the city is in complete shambles.

There are many unanswered questions that will take years to work out, but one is make-or-break and needs to be dealt with immediately. It all boils down to the levee system. People will clear garbage, live in tents, work their fingers to the bone to reclaim homes and lives, but not if they don't believe they will be protected by more than patches to the same old system that failed during the deadly storm. Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all need a commitment before they will stake their futures on the city.

At this moment the reconstruction is a rudderless ship. There is no effective leadership that we can identify. How many people could even name the president's liaison for the reconstruction effort, Donald Powell? Lawmakers need to understand that for New Orleans the words "pending in Congress" are a death warrant requiring no signature.

The rumbling from Washington that the proposed cost of better levees is too much has grown louder. Pretending we are going to do the necessary work eventually, while stalling until the next hurricane season is upon us, is dishonest and cowardly. Unless some clear, quick commitments are made, the displaced will have no choice but to sink roots in the alien communities where they landed.

The price tag for protection against a Category 5 hurricane, which would involve not just stronger and higher levees but also new drainage canals and environmental restoration, would very likely run to well over $32 billion. That is a lot of money. But that starting point represents just 1.2 percent of this year's estimated $2.6 trillion in federal spending, which actually overstates the case, since the cost would be spread over many years. And it is barely one-third the cost of the $95 billion in tax cuts passed just last week by the House of Representatives.

Total allocations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terror have topped $300 billion. All that money has been appropriated as the cost of protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. But what was the worst possible case we fought to prevent?

Losing a major American city.

"We'll not just rebuild, we'll build higher and better," President Bush said that night in September. Our feeling, strongly, is that he was right and should keep to his word. We in New York remember well what it was like for the country to rally around our city in a desperate hour. New York survived and has flourished. New Orleans can too.

Of course, New Orleans's local and state officials must do their part as well, and demonstrate the political and practical will to rebuild the city efficiently and responsibly. They must, as quickly as possible, produce a comprehensive plan for putting New Orleans back together. Which schools will be rebuilt and which will be absorbed? Which neighborhoods will be shored up? Where will the roads go? What about electricity and water lines? So far, local and state officials have been derelict at producing anything that comes close to a coherent plan. That is unacceptable.

The city must rise to the occasion. But it will not have that opportunity without the levees, and only the office of the president is strong enough to goad Congress to take swift action. Only his voice is loud enough to call people home and convince them that commitments will be met.

Maybe America does not want to rebuild New Orleans. Maybe we have decided that the deficits are too large and the money too scarce, and that it is better just to look the other way until the city withers and disappears. If that is truly the case, then it is incumbent on President Bush and Congress to admit it, and organize a real plan to help the dislocated residents resettle into new homes. The communities that opened their hearts to the Katrina refugees need to know that their short-term act of charity has turned into a permanent commitment.

If the rest of the nation has decided it is too expensive to give the people of New Orleans a chance at renewal, we have to tell them so. We must tell them we spent our rainy-day fund on a costly stalemate in Iraq, that we gave it away in tax cuts for wealthy families and shareholders. We must tell them America is too broke and too weak to rebuild one of its great cities.

Our nation would then look like a feeble giant indeed. But whether we admit it or not, this is our choice to make. We decide whether New Orleans lives or dies.

N.O. no more

Drove through bywater/lakeview and surrounding areas which were under water (which was just about everywhere) and even after the huge cleanup that has happened over there over the past three months, it is STILL a horrible disaster. Houses, trees, cars and everything near by was dead and it looks dead, like a bomb went off. 60 percent of the tax paying citizens of the city lived in this area...

I have no other words to describe it, nothing other than tears.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What New Orleans is Like

Hello y'all

I'm writing from NOLA right now, sitting in CC's coffee...well, it's pretty sad around here. Lot's of missing trees and roofs replaced by bare sky and blue tarps! Uptown fared better, but there is still plenty of fixing to do, lot's of insurance claims to make, humvees, rotten fridges, garbage, debris and cocktails (of course!-the first building block of N.O.). Some things are "normal". Some restaurants are open, and little stores...the French Quarter is looking all right, though trying to find a mint julep now is virtually impossible (Jimbo and I used to entertain ourselves on a Sunday afternoon doing the "mint julep" bar tour in the F.Q).

There are about 100,000 people living here now, down from 1/2 million, which gives the whole city sort of a ghost town effect. I don't think there will be many more peole coming back for years to come. The rest of the city is not fixable. I guess we are lucky enough to have something here to fix, as are most of our neighbors, but it will never look the same.

I met some people at my show last night that have been here working and doing clean-up. It was moving how people thanked each other for being here and for helping. Overall it seems like a real community, considering the lack of it in many parts. What can you do? I guess clean and cry and find a mint julep!

I do a some good news though, Port a Call has reopened down on Esplanade. I am heading o'er there tonight to eat a big fat steak and wine with friends...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

When the Levee Breaks II, Oxford MS

Hello and Merry HoHo

Here is the schedule for Friday night "When the Levee Breaks :II" concert, proceeds going to the Rebuild the Coast Fund and recording/filming for upcoming release in April 2006. Doors at 9:30pm.

"When the Levee Breaks: II "

December 9th, Two-Stick, Oxford MS

Doors 9:30pm

10:00 -10:05 intro by Jim Dees

10:05-10:30 Lynn Drury

10 :30-10:35 Jim Dees and change over

10:35- 10:55 Olga & Jimbo

10:55-11:05 Jim Dees and change over

11:05 -11:40 Tate Moore & Ken Hart Band

11:40-11:55 Jim Dees and change over

11:55- 12:20 Amy & the Tramps

12:20-12:25 Jim Dees and change over

12:25 - 1:00 Bluff City Backsliders

1:00-1:10 Jim Dees and change over

1:10-? Jimbo Mathus, Duff Dorrough and Knockdown South

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

a good day to record

...on a 8 track that is!

Alas, I awoke with a song on my mind, which has not happened much lately, so I was happy to oblige the muse. Seems like lately, whenever inspiration came, it was at an imopportune moment to do anything about it, and I thought, "well, one of these times it will come and the time will be right and it will fall out of me by way the universe."

I think every songwriter out there loves those "fall out of the universe" moments in songwriting. It all happens at once and suddenly your done and you have a cool song you dig! Not too much editing, not too much fuss if at's just suddenly...there.

I guess you can't have those moments all the time, else they would not be so special. But what a special feeling it is when it happens! Hope I'll keep it up and finish another albums worth of stuff. Amen.