HBO’s Treme is my favorite show, an hour of TV that feels like a visit to New Orleans each Sunday night. There’s not a lot of explanation, you’re just dropped off in some very authentic Crescent City settings and you have to figure stuff out as it happens. There’s language that you only hear in New Orleans, many local musicians play themselves, and the excellent cast just blends right in. Fact and fiction becomes the same thing, the way that reality and legend always blends for me during an actual visit to The City That Care Forgot.
So, when Chris Curry at The New Yorker called to see if I’d do a piece to accompany Emily Nussbaum’s review of Treme’s Season 3, I said yes right away. After one false start and a change in the final printed size we ended up with a piece that shows some of the cast outside LaDonna’s bar. There are skyscrapers in the background to refer to the idea that the recovery in New Orleans is not reaching every neighborhood.
During my research I found this very rare Antoine Batiste LP in the used bin upstairs at The Louisiana Music Factory.