The love child project of Bristol musician Helen Ditchburn, driven by SongSmith Studios owner Quentin Burton, aka QJB and supported by many contributions from the songwriters and musicians of Bristol, Songs of Katrina is a collection of original compositions and a sprinkling of covers about New Orleans and the events and aftermath of August 2005 when the city was hit by Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flood. It is also about much more. It is about homes, belonging, struggles, justice and the plight of people displaced by (un)natural disasters, let down by public and private institutions; it is about the musicians and the next generation of players, the need for purpose and a livelihood and most of all about solidarity, love and hope. A donation from each album sold will be made to Tipartinas Foundation in New Orleans which is supporting the purchase of musical instruments for children of the city, to reseed the next generation of New Orleans’ incredible musical legacy. All the artists on the album gave their songs and their time freely without payment. The studio time was donated by SongSmith Studios. The only deduction made from the wholesale price of the album is to pay for the pressing, artwork, mastering and mechanical royalties that are due under UK law. The rest will be sent to Tipartinas Foundation. ( www.tipartinas-foundation.org )
After a few false dawns and a couple of jump starts Songs of Katrina emerges into a world where climate change whatever its cause has to be tackled and its impact on people acknowledged. The roots of the music is in the people that produced it and their fellow feeling for people an ocean and half a world away. It is born from the grass roots of a city that has probably the best acoustic and singer/songwriter scene in the UK. Much of its influences are folk and pop and local, though it also incorporates the stamp of the city and county that inspired it, in jazz, rock, blues and more. It is a fine and eclectic collection of songs delivered with enthusiasm, love and hope.