Facing Floods with Music in Louisiana

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The state of Louisiana has been hit hard by flooding in recent days, and the Pelican State is expected to see more rain, something that will add to the damage caused by the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. The flooding has killed at least 13 people, 40,000 homes are damaged, and over 85,000 people are seeking federal aid.

Among the damage is Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana, where a foot of water threatened to end the music studio that has seen the likes of Southern music legends B.B. King, Irma Thomas, and Dr. John pass through its now water soaked walls.

But just as music defines Louisiana in its times of celebration, so too does it during its hardship. 

"Our musical community here in Mauricem and actually around the world — people have been calling and seeing if there's anything they can do to help," Cezanne Nail, co-owner of Dockside Studio, tells The Takeaway. "We had so many musicians come with their tool belts on and tearing out walls and carrying out equipment and drying things. And they all feel like, they tell me, that Dockside is their home away from home and they can't stand to see it closed and soaking wet, and the condition that it's in. People will be recording before you know it." 

As the rains continue, Louisiana residents coalesce around the state's musical traditions and institutions like Dockside Studio. It's a strength in the face of destruction well known by Dr. Michael White, whose home was destroyed in Katrina over a decade ago. He's a jazz clarinetist and historian in New Orleans, and also a professor of African-American Music at Xavier University of Louisiana.