James and I (and Ned - James' dog) left mellowtown at 11am yesterday and headed to his parents' place in Mobile, Alabama. We got seriously lucky with the route we chose to evacuate. Many of our poor friends got stuck in the all-to-familiar 5mph nudge across the land, taking them 10-15 hours to go what normally takes 2-4 hours. But we were spared by a last-minute news tip from WDSU (local TV). We went north across the Causeway, east on I-12 and then to I-10. We didn't hit a single ounce of traffic until about 30 miles outside Mobile, and even then it wasn't so bad. The whole trip took about 4 hours. Thanks WDSU!
Once settled here in Mobile, I was surprised to learn that our good friend and fellow New Orleans musician Theresa Andersson was performing at Callihan's Pub nearby! A shot of tequila, a couple beers, some hugs and solidarity from some good Nola peeps (including Sarah Fontenelle of "Djinni Stomp" video fame, and Alex Smith and Arthur Mintz of "World Leader Pretend") took the edge right off. And damn! I'm soooo happy to see Theresa doing the AMAZING stuff she is doing. This is a different Theresa Andersson than what most New Orleanians may remember. She is now a one-woman show with an elaborate looping setup that enables her to build countless layers of live drums, guitars, fiddle, vocal harmonies, and even some classic 7-inch LP samples, popping them in and out, to create a HUGE, lush, and dynamic "orchestra of Theresa Andersson." She has always been seriously talented. But I think this incarnation, where she is in control of every instrument, voice, arrangement and nuance, really allows her to shine the way she's meant to. If you haven't seen her lately... you need to... seriously.
Back on the subject of Gustav. We are watching and waiting. That's all we can do. It made landfall early this morning about 70 miles southwest of Nola as a Category 2. We are worried about Tiff and Zack, our bandmates in Lafayette, where the eye is currently headed, so keep them in your thoughts.
Soon enough we will all know where we stand. Hoping that we are all back and working on the new album (good stuff brewing!) later this week.
Much love to all,