Darkness At The Bottom, But Resurrected In Music

by | Feb 17, 2011

Last night at the Alladin Theater, Puddletown music lovers were treated to a feast of Louisiana music, care of Voice of The Wetlands Allstars, featuring Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne and other legends of the swampy sound. It was an interesting show, which became more interesting every time Osborne stepped forward to be heard.

As you can see from the video above, recorded just nine days ago, Osborne is an amazing talent. He’s also a troubled talent, and his latest latest album, American Patchwork, released last April on Alligator Records tells the story of his troubles.

It’s a powerful record. John Swenson of Offbeat certainly shares in this opinion.

American Patchwork is the album Osborne fans have been waiting for since Ash Wednesday Blues. The record is a triumph in several ways— as a coherent musical statement, as an account of one man’s struggle to transcend his own existential problems, as a tale of New Orleans loss and recovery, as a rumination on the entropic inevitability of death and a possible redemption by love. The back story is that it’s an album about recovery from substance abuse, but to leave it at that is like saying John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was an album about primal therapy.

Back to the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars show…between songs Tab Benoit, made passionate plea after passionate plea for help preserving the Louisiana way of life. He said they’re losing an acre of low-lying land a day to the Gulf due to man-made causes. I know some in the audience were looking for more music and less talking, but it’s hard to blame a man when the ground under his feet is shifting so radically.