We just finished our third day of working at the Habitat site and we’ve made great progress building, prepping, painting, etc. Also working on the site is a large group of college kids from Susquehanna University, so there’s plenty of hustle-bustle. The post-work NOLA excursions feel particularly good after doing this work – I really feel you’ve earned the NOLA beer and have contributed some positivity to this great city. Yesterday, an older gentlemen walked by the site hollering and fist pumping in approval, which made us all feel good. I’ve been observing a lot of the musical sites in our time off. In fact, we’re staying across the street from Louis Armstrong Park and I’ve been reading a biography of Louis. Armstrong wrote the forward and he tells several colorful stories about his time in New Orleans as a young trumpeter. On the block next store to us, in what now is a Laundromat, is the building that was once Cosimo Matassa’s J&M recording studio. This was one of the cathedrals of Rock & Roll in the mid-1950’s and Cosimo produced some of the greatest records ever made. Rip-roaring and great feeling records by Little Richard, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, and many others. Today, New Orleans is still crawling with some of the best musicians one could imagine. I brought a guitar and sat in with some of the locals at a funk/blues jam in a club called Café Negril on Frenchmen Street on Monday. It was good fun – the cats in New Orleans have the funk in their blood. It’s been great to represent Berklee on this special trip and peoples ears perk up when I explain what we’re doing here. Tonight I’m looking forward to seeing some more great music on Frenchmen and to chowing down some local cuisine at my new favorite restaurant, Coop’s Place. Ciao!
– John