The Move to New Orleans - Part I - Double Nickels on the Dime

I'd been coming to New Orleans since 1989 when the French Quarter Festival was just one or two stages! Like a lot of natural relationships, I didn't like New Orleans right away.  But over time I did become seduced by the city. This was mainly due to the beautiful people, street culture, European feel and overall vibe of the city. I started to picture New Orleans as an exotic experienced woman, waiting to be discovered, Before Katrina, I got married here on the Mississippi River and had Treme Brass Band (with Uncle Lionel and Kenny Terry) as our wedding band.

But by 2013, our LA band needed a new home base.  And in New Orleans I could really check out the horn players and live in a place steeped in musical traditions like the Mardis Gras Indians and Second Lines. Furthermore, my sister lived here, working as a DJ for WWOZ, and really backed our move,

So, under the cover of darkness we sold our van and packed up the house (with cats and amplifiers) and drove route 10 West to New Orleans, arriving in six days. The last few days in Long Beach were a whirlwind with many friends stopping over pitching for "one last party."  Even the night before we left, White Boy James broke into our house and woke us at 2 am to say goodbye.  Love that kind of dedication!

The 1900 mile (3050 km) drive was wild with a fully packed 24 foot truck towing our car and with two cats in the cab. "Double nickels on the dime" (thanks, Smoke and the Minutemen) was our theme, because if we went over 55 mph the truck started shaking uncontrollably. Texas was frightening with its high winds, the constant high speed  semis passing us and dogs sniffing all around our vehicle.

Frazzled, we made it anyway and were greeted at our new 9th Ward location with both welcomes and cold stares.  But we soon figured out, that's just how this neighborhood rolls.  Our New Orleans adventure had begun!

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