What was it like living in an abandoned New Orleans in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina? Inspired by the emails one New Orleans photographer sent to his evacuated friends, my song “Katrinaville” is an attempt to capture the surreal nature of that moment in history,
Business and pleasure have often taken me to New Orleans, and I've developed a great affection for the city. Like many others, I was stunned by the tragic events that unfolded when the city was struck by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. My New Orleans friend David Spielman, who stayed (with his cat Walker) to photograph the city during the evacuation, was sending out daily emails describing his experience, and it was from him I first heard the term "Katrinaville."
I tried to capture what he experienced during his first few weeks in the ghost town-like atmosphere in the first verse of this song. The second verse started with my own experience (I remember being in a hotel room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at one point watching the news reports). I wanted to combine my personal feelings with the point of view of one of the evacuees watching what was happening to their city from afar.
The song was released on a limited edition CD (including my instrumental tune Bayou Fog) that was distributed at signings for Spielman's book Katrinaville Chronicles: Images and Observations from a New Orleans Photographer. To mark the 15th anniversary of their initial release, the songs were made available online for the first time with a July 12, 2021 release on Bandcamp.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: "Katrinaville" is part of the I Remember Travel Tunes collection. There's more from the Crescent City in the article
Shots from the Road: Can't Keep a Good Musician Down. –Starling
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in a small Wisconsin blue-collar town, Mike Starling ditched the assembly line for a long, sometimes circuitous career working with words, sound and images. His original music is heard on numerous recordings and soundtracks, and his stories and photos have been featured in books, films, mags and other media. Among his other interesting career moves, he has edited a beer magazine, played bass in a reggae band and sold potato chips door-to-door. Inspired by the life-altering events of 2020, he launched a year-long web-based project called I Remember Travel in January 2021.
more work samples
I REMEMBER TRAVEL
Journeys in sight and sound by Mike Starling
All text, images and music in the I Remember Travel weblog ©Mike Starling unless otherwise noted. Music published by Bean Hoy Music (BMI). All rights reserved.