Leading Americana Music Artists Donate to Forgotten But Not Gone,
A New Album Benefitting Gulf Coast Residents Still Displaced by Katrina
New Orleans and Coastal Mississippi
Press Release, Nashville, TN, February 10, 2010 -- Top artists from the worlds of country, folk, blues, gospel and Cajun music put their talents where their hearts are in Forgotten But Not Gone, a fantastic new album created to help restore the homes, communities and dignity of tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents still displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Just as importantly, residents of storm-ravaged New Orleans and coastal Mississippi feel forgotten by the rest of the world. Most people feel This project sends a message of hope and concern. Each CD sold represents someone who cares about the forgotten residents on the Gulf Coast.
Produced, distributed and promoted entirely by volunteers, the album attests to both the generosity of the human spirit and the power of grassroots activism. It is about people helping people through the gift of music.
Yes, hurricane recovery is still an urgent need. The fact is, hundreds of thousands of people in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast are still displaced from their homes. Hardest hit are the poor, the renters, the disabled, and the elderly. Some people still live crowded into the upper stories of their homes as the flood-ruined lower floors are gutted and rebuilt. Others live in toxic FEMA trailers in their front yards or on barren vacant lots, and risk being forced out when Federal trailer deadlines arrive. Experts say it will be years before recovery is at an acceptable level, and much of this work has been left to volunteers and charitable organizations.
Forgotten but Not Gone is the brainchild of three friends active in the Nashville music industry: singer/songwriter Ric Kipp, independent producer/multi-instrumentalist Phillip Wolfe, and executive producer Rebecca Wolfe. The three were moved to action by the personal experiences of Kipp, a New Orleans native who saw the landscape of his childhood swept away by Katrina.
At first I felt paralyzed by all the destruction,” he said. “But then, when time passed and there were still so many people with only primitive, temporary shelter, I started asking myself what I could do to change things.” The answer, developed and brought to life with the Wolfes, was the formation of a nonprofit organization – Gulf Coast Relief, Inc. – for the creation of Forgotten but Not Gone.
The limited-edition album draws attention to the plight of those still living in temporary housing four years after the most destructive natural disaster in our nation’s. But it also celebrates the colorful history and defiant determination of those who call the Gulf Coast home.
An album of rich musical range and artistry, Forgotten but Not Gone showcases performances by what Steve Bogard, president of Nashville Songwriters Association International, calls a “legendary cast” of Americana roots artists. Several of the album’s songs, including the title track by Lee Roy Parnell, the eponymous “Legend of Moses Crow,” and the powerful bookend anthems “Last Night I Dreamed of New Orleans” by Bonnie Bramlett and “Stay Down in New Orleans” by Bekka Bramlett, are original compositions written and produced for the album by Kipp and Phillip Wolfe. Wolfe, who owns Shadow Lane Studios outside Nashville, also performed on many of the tracks.
Four other songs – “Trouble of the World” by Mike Farris (with the McCrary Sisters), “Louisiana Rain” by Tony Joe White, “Hard Times in the Big Easy” by Wood Newton, and “Mardi Gras” by Katrina evacuee Bruce Bellott – were also produced just for the album.
Other tracks, including “Steve’s Hammer” by Steve Earle, “Everything I Know about the Blues” by Delbert McClinton, and “There’s a Rainbow at the end of Every Storm” by Marty Stuart, were donated from previous albums by these Grammy-winning artists.>/p>
Additional highly regarded, award-winning performers featured on the album are Buddy and Julie Miller, Jon Justice, Chris Knight, Jack Ingram, Radney Foster, Steve Azar, and Kieran Kane (with Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin).
“The outpouring of support for this project has been unbelievable,” said executive producer and album coordinator Rebecca Wolfe. “The project is unique among benefit CDs in that it was accomplished by individual volunteers without any financial backing. It began as the idea of a few friends, then people began piling on to help until it became a local music community cause. All of the artists, songwriters, producers, record labels, publishing companies, photographers, designers, consultants, and others donated their services, performances and/or royalties. Together, they turned our dream of helping the Gulf Coast into a reality”.
Everyone who helped has expressed their appreciation for being included in this opportunity to help others. Altogether, several hundred people helped with this CD in one way or another. This labor of love is a testament to the good in human nature and the power of people helping people.
“Every penny raised,” says Rebecca Wolfe, “will go to two outstanding charities that I am truly inspired inspired to be working with. Both house volunteers to restore and rebuild houses. But they don’t just rebuild homes, they help rebuild beloved communities. They rebuild lives! They are especially remarkable in the way they mobilize residents to help themselves. They realize that the people of America can’t sit back and wait to be saved by our government, who in this case grossly let its people down. Instead, they bring people together to help each other and to give each other the strength and support needed on the road from the initial emergency to eventual full recovery.”
Those two groups are Episcopal Community Services (ECS) of Louisiana (www.ecs.edola.org) and “LESM on the Bay” (www.LESMonthebay.org), a project of Lutheran-Episcopal Services of Mississippi. Both are volunteer organizations that, while faith-based, serve their communities without regard to religious affiliation.
Active in rebuilding hurricane-damaged homes with the combined help of volunteers and professional contractors, ECS (with the New Orleans Office of Disaster Response, which ECS incorporated) has rebuilt 55 houses in New Orleans since 2006 and gutted an additional 900, at a value of $12.6 million. The organization also provides case management services to 2,500 households, focusing on those most in need of assistance – the elderly, the disabled, and households with young children.
LESM on the Bay operates two hurricane recovery centers in Mississippi, including Camp Coast Care, which works with volunteers who donate week-long blocks of labor in exchange for shelter and meals. So far, more than 12,000 volunteers have come from all over the world to help. The organization recently moved from Long Beach, Miss. to Bay St. Louis in Hancock County, one of three counties hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.
“Forgotten but Not Gone” can be purchased through the album’s Web site (http://www.forgotten-but-not-gone.org) or from CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com/cd/various394) for $12.99 plus shipping, handling, and applicable sales taxes. CD Baby also offers options for digitally downloading the album and individual tracks. The album may also be obtained by sending a check or money order for $15 per CD to Gulf Coast Relief, Inc., P.O. Box 597, Hermitage, TN 37076. All proceeds will be equally divided between Episcopal Community Services of New Orleans and LESM on the Bay in Mississippi.
For more information about any aspect of the “Forgotten but Not Gone” project, contact Rebecca Wolfe at (615) 889-1713, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.forgotten-but-not-gone.org.
About this CD
Epicscopal Community Services
Lutheran Episcopal Services of Mississippi