Last summer I was invited down to New Orleans for a week long retreat hosted by Air Traffic Control (a nonprofit resource for activist and philanthropic musicians), to discuss with some of my favorite peers, social and environmental activism and it’s role in music. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been part of and definitely one of the most inspiring.
Fast forward one year (this is what I wanted to share with you):
Air Traffic Control has just produced Dear New Orleans, a digital music benefit compilation for the people of the Gulf to mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — and in response to the Gulf Oil Disaster also deeply affecting the region — including music from ATC retreat alumni; My Morning Jacket, Laura Veirs, Luke Reynolds, Blind Pilot, Bonnie Prince Billy, Steve Earl and many others.
Dear New Orleans is the product of lasting friendships forged between musicians from all walks of life and New Orleans artists, tradition bearers, organizers and a cast of “only in New Orleans” characters during artist activism retreats co-produced by Air Traffic Control. The compilation features 31 New Orleans-inspired tracks ranging from original compositions written by musicians about their experiences in the area to covers of popular New Orleans songs to one-of-a-kind collaborations between retreat alumni and celebrated New Orleans musicians.
Proceeds from Dear New Orleans will be granted to New Orleans based nonprofits working to support and sustain the region’s unique musical and cultural traditions and to protect and restore vital environment and community resources for future generations. Such beneficiaries include Sweet Home New Orleans and Gulf Restoration Network.