Dear New Orleans Benefit Compilation – Gulf Coast Restoration







All Proceeds this month benefit Gulf Coast Restoration Network.

31 Tracks, NOLA musical legends + New Orleans loving artists collaborate

Americana, R&B, rock & of course NOLA soul

Some of the artists: Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Steve Earle, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Bonerama, Nicole Atkins, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), the Flobots, Jill Sobule, the Wrens, My Morning Jacket, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Allison Moorer, and many moreBeautiful soundtrack for a great benefit.Originally released Hurricane Katrina anniversary.Special re-release for BP Oilspill Anniversary

Original Press Release:

Dear New Orleans available for download, iTunes,, Rhapsody and

Dear New Orleans is the product of lasting friendships forged between musicians from all walksof 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 (see below). Thecompilation features 31 New Orleans-inspired tracks ranging from original compositionswritten by musicians about their experiences in the area to covers of popular New Orleans songs toone-of-a-kind collaborations between retreat alumni and celebrated New Orleans musicians.

Dear New Orleans tracks include the original OK Go song “Louisiana Land,” a narrative bornout of the band’s time spent in the Big Easy, Nicole Atkins and Bonerama’s horn-poweredversion of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” My Morning Jacket and The PreservationHall Jazz Band’s live cover of Al Johnson’s Mardi Gras anthem “Carnival Time” and TheWrens’ “Crescent,” an early mix from the band’s forthcoming album — their first since 2003 (DearNew Orleans full track listing attached.)

Proceeds from Dear New Orleans will be granted to New Orleans-based nonprofits working tosupport and sustain the region’s unique musical and cultural traditions and to protect and restorevital environment and community resources for future generations. Such beneficiaries includeSweet Home New Orleans and Gulf Restoration Network.

Not long after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees broke, Times-Picayune writer ChrisRose published “Dear America,” a letter that sought to introduce the people and culture of SouthernLouisiana to the country and “thank [them] for coming to our rescue” (Rose’s “Dear New Orleans”letter attached).

“‘Dear New Orleans’ is the musicians’ response to Rose’s ‘Dear America’ letter, five years on,” saysAir Traffic Control Executive Director Erin Potts. “It’s intended as a statement of gratitude andpromise to the city and her people to never forget what happened and to continue to rebuild.”

Barbara Bersche, partner of McSweeney’s Publishing and founding Board member of 826Valencia, designed the Dear New Orleans album cover and booklet. Musician, artist and retreatalum, Jon Langford’s (The Mekons, The Waco Brothers) original paintings and artwork are usedthroughout the album booklet and inspired the compilation’s cover. The album liner notes alsoinclude a new poem by poet, musician and performer Saul Williams.

Tim Quirk — retreat alum, artist (Too Much Joy, Wonderlick) and former Vice President of MusicProgramming for Rhapsody — co-executive produced Dear New Orleans with Air Traffic Control.

Digital distributor IODA ( is helping ATC with production, distribution,and marketing support for Dear New Orleans, making the project available for purchase throughhundreds of digital storefronts worldwide. “We didn’t hesitate for a moment when IODA was askedto help with Dear New Orleans,” says CEO and Founder Kevin Arnold. “The project captures andpreserves the results of a unique intersection of music and activism, and this digital compilationfurthers the reach of that effort while appropriately paying respect to, and celebrating, the eventsand environment that inspired it.”

Licensing for this release provided by RightsFlow (, leading experts inmechanical licensing. Commented Patrick Sullivan, President and CEO, “We are extremelypleased to be involved with Dear New Orleans and to work with the team at Air Traffic Control torelease this inspiring project, one that connects and supports the community of musicians with alegacy of music that continues to resonate from the Crescent City.”


Air Traffic Control and Future of Music Coalition have been co-hosting a series of artist activismretreats in New Orleans since 2006. Artists are given the rare opportunity to connect directly withthe people of New Orleans, the tradition bearers and community leaders who are on the frontlinesof rebuilding and sustaining this vital city. After the three-day retreat, artists leave feeling thattheir lives have been changed by what they have experienced in New Orleans and with a sense ofempowerment for what they can accomplish through their music and activism.

After participating in one of ATC’s retreat Wayne Kramer (of the MC5) said, “Go to New Orleansand meet the folks down there. Talk with them, eat with them, work alongside them and thenplay music with them and for them. Anyone that calls themselves a musician owes a debt to NewOrleans.”


Sweet Home New Orleans ( is a nonprofit organization whosemission is to support the individuals and organizations that will perpetuate New Orleans’ uniquemusical and cultural traditions. They began their work immediately after the levees broke in 2005and have provided over $2.5 million in financial assistance to more than 2,500 members of thecity’s music community.

“ATC has made tremendous contributions to the success of Sweet Home New Orleans,” said SweetHome New Orleans Executive Director, Jordan Hirsch. “By engaging artists from around the

country in our efforts to support the tradition bearers of New Orleans, ATC forged a link betweenthe music community affected by the flood of 2005 and a global network of musicians and fans.Sweet Home New Orleans is thrilled by this compilation not only because it will further ourprogress towards a sustainable music community in the city, but because it represents the ongoingcommitment of artists from all corners to give back to those who have inspired them.”

Sweet Home helps New Orleans musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, and Social Aid & Pleasure Clubmembers get on their feet, get to work, and revitalize their communities and the cultural economyof New Orleans.

Gulf Restoration Network ( is a 16 year-old environmentalgroup committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resourcesof the Gulf of Mexico. Since the storms of 2005, they have worked for a national commitment to therestoration of the coastal wetlands of Louisiana, the region’s natural storm protection, which aredisappearing at the rate of an acre an hour. The BP drilling disaster has greatly increased threats tothis ecosystem, and GRN has provided independent monitoring and advocacy since the first days ofthe disaster.

“It means so much that these musicians and Air Traffic Control are willing to stand up for ourfuture, and work with us to create a national commitment to the restoration of the Gulf,” says GulfRestoration Network Campaign Director Aaron Viles. “New Orleans and the Northern Gulf havehad a rough time the past five years. The coastal wetlands crisis that Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ikeexposed to the world is now being accelerated by BP’s crude oil, threatening the recovery andsustainability of our region.”


Air Traffic Control (ATC) exists to help musicians play an effective, unique and vital role in thepromotion of social justice. Musicians and managers established ATC five years ago to assemblean experienced and trusted team of leaders, resources and tools that would help them to createmore effective social change collaborations with each other and with social justice organizations.As a result, ATC became an artists’ air traffic control—one that develops capacity, efficiency, andcoordination to produce stronger and more creative social change

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