After the Storm
It has been five years since Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the Federal levee system in New Orleans, and we speak with local activists, musicians and residents to gauge the progress of recovery in the city and region. Rebirth Brass Band’s Derrick Tabb talks about his after-school program “The Roots of Music;” we visit the Musicians’ Village in the 9th Ward to meet drummer Smokey Johnson; then head out into the bayous with blues guitarist Tab Benoit to talk about his work to save the wetlands. Also, conversation with Eric Overmyer and Lolis Eric Elie from HBO’s Treme, and commentary from New Orleanian James Carville on the importance of the culture of the city.

We’ve also collected archived images and stories from the last five years, tracking the Gulf South’s response to and recovery from the storm, as well as links to organizations dedicated to preserving and renewing these unique communities.

So dig deeper into the entire archive of American Routes’ “After the Storm” programs, from the first evacuated broadcast out of Lafayette, to the latest, produced from Tulane University in Uptown New Orleans. Listen to our conversations with the Tremé Sidewalk Steppers, Allen Toussaint, the Superdome roofing crew, Dr. John and many more.

Five Years Later

Since Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federal levees, daily life in New Orleans and the Coastal Louisiana region has been marked by the process of renewal and recovery. Slowly but steadily, and oftentimes independent of outside help, the people of New Orleans are building themselves back up. In the “New" New Orleans, musicians, chefs, artists and others have become spokespeople for their neighborhoods and neighbors, envisioning a new direction for the region with culture leading the way.

American Routes has been privileged to speak with many of the individuals who preserve and extend their cultural traditions every day. Here is a record of their experiences, from the first day after the water receded, until today, five years after the storm.