If you are wandering the New Orleans French Quarter streets, you will likely come upon what seems a statue of an angel, all in white and with chalked face and hands. She stands stock-still until someone drops a donation in the cup at her feet. Then the angel moves, ever so gently, and offers a smile for all to enjoy. The angel is just one of the many street performers gracing the French Quarter, offering a taste of the city's unique culture to all passersby. David Roe and his juke joint piano is another.
Things often work out fine if you give them enough time and don't panic. That's the message of this warm and joyous new CD from David Roe and friends. It celebrates the near-miracle of David's survival, alongside his wife, Laura, of a March, 1999 fiery Illinois train derailment, and the CD's sales will benefit rescue agencies who saved the Roe's lives.
A great cause, but it's the music itself that makes this CD worth having. Recorded live in New Orleans last November, Angel of New Orleans mixes trad jazz ("When You're Smiling," "Bye Bye Blues"), with American folk (Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans"). The effect is very nice. Roe's brass band includes 72-year old cornet legend Jack Fine, and the sound is augmented by bluegrass fiddle (Tom Nuendel) and mandolin (Jim Hancock) for a very unique flavor. Great vocals and piano by Roe and a carny-dream atmosphere will have you up on your feet and dancing. - Bill Nevins
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