SJI In The News
First, New Orleans-based Offbeat has a review by Geraldine Wyckoff of the new Chris Thomas King album (mentioned here yesterday), noting its inclusion of "St. James Infirmary."
Second, The Post-Standard (of Syracuse, I believe) has a somewhat cryptic item praising an outfit I'm not familiar with, called Nick Palumbo's Dixieland Update, for helping "keep alive the Bourbon street tradition ... with classics like 'Basin Street Blues" and "St. James Infirmary.'" Okay.
And third and finally: The Mail Tribune: Southern Oregon's News Source, has a writeup on the Elvis Costello and Allen Touissaint collaboration, The River In Reverse.
Costello called Katrina "a fierce-tempered woman — aided by some nincompoops." The hurricane songs make it clear that although the event was an act of God, Costello and Toussaint feel there's plenty of blame for Providence to share with the city of New Orleans, Louisiana officials and the Bush ("Heckuva job, Brownie") Administration.
Actually that characterization at the end is sort of an exaggeration, but I'll have more on that tomorrow.
Costello's "The River in Reverse" is perhaps the angriest cry in this respect ("There must be something better than this/I don't see how it can get worse").
But the anger strives for nothing if not redemption, as in the anthemic "Ascension Day," a minor key take-off on Professor Longhair's "Tipitina" by way of "St. James Infirmary."
[Self-serving PS: Allaboutjazz.com has some kind words about Letters From New Orleans. Thanks!]