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New Orleans Music in Exile (2006)

Documentary about the many well-known New Orleans musicians who were forced to leave the city by Hurricane Katrina, where they wound up, how (and if) they plan to return to the city. Also ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Taylor ...
Himself
Lewis Setliff III ...
Himself (as Col. Lewis Setliff III)
...
Himself
Jan Ramsey ...
Herself - Offbeat Magazine
David Freedman ...
Himself - WWOZ
Scott Billington ...
Himself - Archivist
Keith Spera ...
Himself - Writer
Cyril Neville ...
Himself
Mark Samuels ...
Himself - Basin Street Records
Theresa Andersson ...
Herself
...
Herself
Stephen Assaf ...
Himself
Emile Jackson ...
Himself
Evelyn Assaf ...
Herself -
Eddie Bo ...
Himself
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Documentary about the many well-known New Orleans musicians who were forced to leave the city by Hurricane Katrina, where they wound up, how (and if) they plan to return to the city. Also shown are many landmark nightclubs and other well-known spots that were damaged or destroyed by Katrina. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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23 March 2006 (USA)  »

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Poor production values and variable performances compromise a good idea for a film
9 January 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

Director Mugge and his team went searching for New Orleans musicians who had dispersed from that city in the first few months after Katrina. They traveled to places like Austin, Memphis and Baton Rouge, but also looked around New Orleans for players who had returned or never left.

The film is an amalgam of footage from the storm and flood, post flood damage in the city, the current (end of 2005) club scene in NO, and scenes at venues in other cities, featuring a number of bands in performance and several talking heads, the best known being Cyril Neville, Mac Rebennack (Dr. John) and Irma Thomas. Neville gets off one of the best quips when he says that he doesn't think of NO as a point in the deep south, but as the northern most point in the Caribbean.

I think this documentary was made on the cheap: it suffers from poor production values, the photography is mediocre, the editing unimaginative. The bands skew decidedly towards rock and roll, not my sense of what is unique about the NO musical heritage. At least one group is little better than a garage band. Marcia Ball offers the best singing performance in the film.

I did find it interesting to catch a glimpse inside several of the well known NO music venues, places like The Spotted Cat, Maple Leaf, Snug Harbor, Palm Tavern, and Irma Thomas and her husband Emile Jackson's Lion's Den, sadly now ruined, probably beyond repair, by flood damage. The concept for this film was a very good one, but the product's main value is and will be archival. My grades: 5/10 (C) (Seen at the NWFC's Reel Music series, 01/06/07)


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