Dear New Orleans: A Musical Love Letter to Our City

To mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — and in response to the BP Oil Drilling Disaster also deeply affecting the region, our friends at Air Traffic Control (a nonprofit resource for activist and philanthropic musicians) have produced Dear New Orleans, a digital music benefit compilation for the people of the Gulf. Dear New Orleans is available for download at, iTunes,, Rhapsody and New Orleans is the product of lasting friendships forged between musicians from all walks of life and New Orleans artists, tradition bearers, organizers and a cast of “only in New Orleans” characters during artist activism retreats co-produced by Air Traffic Control. GRN was invited to partner with ATC during their most recent retreat, and I was honored to present to the musicians in attendance about the coastal wetlands crisis facing our region, bringing the group to Bayou Bienvenue to show them first-hand what MRGO, subsidence and erosion are doing to our natural storm defenses, and the devastating community consequences. The compilation features 31 New Orleans-inspired tracks ranging from original compositions written by musicians about their experiences in the area to covers of popular New Orleans songs to one-of-a-kind collaborations between retreat alumni and celebrated New Orleans musicians. Check out OK Go’s fantastic “Louisiana Land” which name-checks our favorite NOLA drummer, Stanton Moore, and local favorites Bonerama do fantastic work, backing a number of acts and contributing their own “Mr. Go.” Other artists include Tom Morello, Indigo Girls, the Wrens, Mike Mills (of REM), Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, My Morning Jacket, Steve Earle and many others.Proceeds from Dear New Orleans will be granted to New Orleans based nonprofits working to support and sustain the region’s unique musical and cultural traditions and to protect and restore vital environment and community resources for future generations. GRN is honored to be supported by this project alongside Sweet Home New Orleans ( more information on Dear New Orleans, a free download from the compilation, and to learn more about how you can help the Gulf, please visit Viles is GRN’s campaign director

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