Since this blog is called “Liner Notes,” occasionally I include liner notes from my own albums. The notes from New Orleans Set are found below but first, here’s how that CD came to be. In 2008, I wrote a song about Creole- and New Orleans-influenced food called Smile Upon Your Soul. It dawned on me that I had written songs about New Orleans periodically for twenty-five years. This was never by design but by the pure inspiration of a city that has always been seductive to me. New Orleans has spoken to writers, poets, musicians, artists and generations of people who do not use any of those terms to describe themselves. Like other lifelong friends, the city never changes and, yet, she constantly evolves at the same time.
So as I fine-tuned Smile Upon Your Soul, I decided to produce a CD with many of my
songs about the Crescent City and a couple of others for a little “lagniappe.” Carnival season is underway and Mardi Gras is around the corner so here are the liner notes to New Orleans Set.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
New Orleans Set Liner Notes:
New Orleans is a source of inspiration for me as a songwriter and perspiration for me as a
human. From the Maple Leaf Bar to the Monteleone Hotel; from the Garden District to the Marigny; from the Mississippi to Magazine and beyond, New Orleans and its people have welcomed me, cheered me up, shown me the blues and helped me pay some dues.
These songs have come from my lifelong love affair with the city and my friends there.
Growing up so close to New Orleans in Mississippi, I can’t remember when the city was not a part of my life. These songs span a twenty-five year period, beginning with The Camellia Grill in 1983 right up to Smile Upon Your Soul, in 2008.
Another song well-worth mentioning is Pray for New Orleans. Jim Sparks approached me with his great idea in 1999 and that’s when we wrote it, six years before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Coast and flooded the Crescent City. Everyone from that part of the country knew it was always a matter of when, not if, a storm like that would come.
Mackinac Blues and Tourist in a Rental Car are not about New Orleans but I always play them when I perform there. Besides, New Orleans has its share of tourists in rental cars, too!
Thanks for listening and to the musicians who brought these tunes to life. Catch you ‘round the Quarter,
Click here to listen to song samples from New Orleans Set on I-Tunes. For video of Les performing at the Louisiana Music Factory in the French Quarter, click here.
Text and photos copyright 2013 Les Kerr.