Professor of folklore and English Burt Feintuch has published a book of fascinating interviews with eleven celebrated New Orleans musicians and the city they call home. The book also features 65 photographs by Gary Samson.
In Talking New Orleans Music, Feintuch pursued a decades-long fascination with the music of New Orleans. Thinking about the devastation — not only material but also cultural — caused by the levees breaking in 2005, he began a series of conversations with master New Orleans musicians, talking about their lives, the cultural contexts of their music, their experiences during and after Katrina, and their city. Photographer Gary Samson joined him, adding a compelling visual dimension to the book.
Musicians included are Soul Queen Irma Thomas, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Charmaine Neville, John Boutté, Dr. Michael White, Deacon John Moore, Cajun bandleader Bruce Daigrepont, Zion Harmonizer Brazella Briscoe, producer Scott Billington, as well as Christie Jourdain and Janine Waters of the Original Pinettes, New Orleans’s only all-woman brass band.
Feintuch, who also directs the UNH Center for the Humanities, has published on traditional music, cultural conservation, and other topics in traditional and vernacular culture.
Talking New Orleans Music: Crescent City Musicians Talk about Their Lives, Their Music, and Their City is available from the University Press of Mississippi and major booksellers.