This long-in-the-making documentary project about Preservation Hall has just been released in book form by Louisiana State University Press!  

Alongside with my interviews with the musicians who regularly play at Preservation Hall, are the gorgeous photographs of Shannon Brinkman. 

You can also listen to the audio documentaries I made for the exhibit about Preservation Hall at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans here.

The book is beautiful, and the musicians say amazing things. Here are a few of my many favorites:

Charlie Gabriel: Music is spiritual. When it touches you it does something to you, and you does something to the music. Music lasts and it breathes. Once it gets into the environment, it never dies. It keeps moving and everybody that touches it does something to it and it does something to them. Music is colorless and it’s a spirit within one another. Some of us is blessed to nurse that spirit that we have, that God-given gift. 

Darryl Adams: If I don’t make someone cry—to be straight up honest with you—I haven’t done my job. If I don’t make you try to reach the sky, I haven’t done my job.

Carl LeBlanc: Music is medicinal. And it also is a direct contact to the spirit. I went to an old folks’ home and was playing for this man with no legs—an older man. I started playing "Sweet Lorraine," and he started crying.I mean, not tears, I mean boo-hooing- wailing. And I say, "What's the matter, man?" He say, "That was me and my wife's song. We were married for 50–60 years, and every time we heard it we danced." And, he's crying. I say, "You want me to stop?" He say, "No." And, the whole while I played it he just balled like a baby. 

Daniel Farrow: You got to really feel it to play it. Every note connects. Just like speaking. Your fingers, they do it by themselves, you can’t stop them. And that’s the best way to play: natural. ’Cause you don’t know what you’re going to play until you start playing. You just feel it in your body. 
Ralph Johnson: It’s like going to a beautiful place in sound. 

See the book here.




“Borrowed Time” is about living in New Orleans, my cat Claudine, and the things we pretend not to know in order to keep keeping on.  This essay is part of a truly wonderful and gorgeous book, Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, published by Chin Music Press. To enjoy the book beyond my essay -- which includes archival maps, beautiful historic and contemporary writing, crafty schematics, and the sweetest design you can imagine -- order a copy here, or buy one from your local independent bookstore. 


“What Has Happened to Charmaine?” was originally printed in Fourth Genre, Explorations in Nonfiction, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 2007.
I wrote “What Has Happened to Charmaine?” in a state of panic -- when I was still living in Brooklyn watching the Katrina-induced Federal Levee failure unfold.


“Redemption Window” was originally printed in Postroad Magazine, Number 15, 2007.
“Redemption Window” is about a magical night in a magical place: Red Hook, Brooklyn.


“Inside Mardi Gras,” was originally printed in Wesleyan Magazine, Issue 1, 2008
Take a look behind the making of Rebecca Snedeker’s documentary movie, By Invitation Only.

“A Tough Test,”was originally printed in Wesleyan Magazine, Issue 3, 2009
Teach for America marches into New Orleans.

“Party in a Box” was originally printed in offbeat Magazine, August 2007.
A new generation of Louisiana musicians are learning what their Cajun predecessors discovered: the ingenious practicality of the accordion.

“The Written Word” was originally printed in offbeat Magazine, May 2008
Sign maker Nan Parati is the most read writer during Jazz Fest.

“New Home Sweet Home” was originally printed in offbeat Magazine, April 2007
Al “Carnival Time” Johnson gets a new home in Musicians’ Village.

“Will Royalties Kill the Radio Stars?” was originally printed in offbeat Magazine, July 2007

“Pass It On” was originally printed in offbeat Magazine, May 2007


“Forks in the Road” originally appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly Journal, December 2005.



 © Eve Abrams 2010