Tab Benoit – Guitars and Vocals
Dr John – Piano and Vocals
Cyril Neville – Percussion and Vocals
Anders Osborne – Guitar and Vocals
George Porter Jr – Bass and Vocals
Jumpin Johnny Sansone – Harmonica, Accordion, and Vocals
Waylon Thibodeaux – Fiddle and Vocals
Johnny Vidacovich – Drums and Vocals
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux – Percussion and Vocals
Voice of the Wetlands All-stars – Tab Benoit has assembled a stellar ensemble of fellow New Orleans musicians (including N.O. Legends which include Meters and Neville Brothers Cyril Neville, fellow roots-man Anders Osborne, fiddler Waylon Thibodeaux, influential New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich, harmonica/ accordion player Jumpin Johnny Sansone, and New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. to forge a musical plea about the fragile eco-system that is the increasingly depleted wetlands surrounding their hometown.
In the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the chorus of the group’s otherwise savory, funk-charged opening song “Bayou Breeze”–”Don’t let the water wash us away”–now seems like a haunting, unheeded warning recorded eight months before disaster struck. Armed with songs like “We Ain’t Gonna Lose No More (Without a Fight),” takes to task an administration that’s ignored the urgent needs of their homeland in favor of misadventure in Iraq. As well as songs like “Louisiana Sunshine” that continue to focus largely on environmental concerns that grow more urgent with every tropical storm that gathers in the Gulf, it’s also a show that is rife with New Orleans’ cross-cultural musical joie de vivre, as witnessed by Benoit and Osborne’s Cajun-seasoned “We Make a Good Gumbo” and the slinky African rhythms of Monk Boudreaux’s “Me Donkey Want Water.” The band’s music sounds like Louisiana Rock, Funk, Soul, and Cajun classics that have risen from years of music history and the environment that the music comes from.
“The Voice of the Wetlands Organization formed the first national out-reach program to educate and make the public aware that Louisiana was in danger, the refineries that line the coast of Louisiana were un protected due to years of neglect by locals and oil companies. We all knew that our culture was already fading but if you can connect a direct relationship to Louisiana and the rest of the US then maybe our elected politicians would take notice and vote for the issues that were important to the people and the culture of Louisiana. The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars have done this through music” Rueben Williams of the Thunderbird Management Group/Voice of the Wetlands Organization, We have brought allot of attention through these legendary musicians who are at their musical prime. They are pioneers of a sound and style that is indigenous to Louisiana’s wetlands and every performance is filled with passion for that purpose.”
The Voice of the Wetlands All-stars has appeared at both the Democrat and Republican Conventions and appears annually at the Voice of the Wetlands Festival in Houma, Louisiana. If there is one group that encapsulates the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, it is the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, an improbable cooperative with a cause.
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