From The Desk Of Holsapple & Stamey: New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund

hp100bThere are many people who consider the first two albums by the dB’s to be just as influential as those revered early Velvet Underground releases. The singing/songwriting backbone of the dB’s was the tandem of Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, whose simpatico musical attraction was strong enough to fuel Mavericks, an excellent 1991 album by the duo. Eighteen years later, the longtime friends have released the equally stirring Here And Now. The pair has also begun recording again with the dB’s, including original bassist Gene Holder and drummer Will Rigby. Holsapple and Stamey are guest editing all this week. Read our Q&A with them.


Peter: After Hurricane Katrina, former dB’s bassist Jeff Beninato and his wife Karen Dalton-Beninato relocated to the Midwest and set up the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund with the displaced and distressed musicians of the city in mind. They have gotten help from Dr. John, R.E.M., Wilco, a host of local musicians and, of course, the dB’s in raising money and consciousness about the issues facing post-Katrina players in New Orleans. (Many lived in the devastated Ninth Ward.) NOMRF has been able to get pianos and horns to good homes, where they’re being used to learn and earn on. For all intents and purposes, Katrina is a dead issue to a world consumed by its economic upheaval these days; not so if you’re still in New Orleans, where the reminders color actions every day that most people take for granted. (Try cashing a check in a bank that lost all its signature cards in the flooding.) Jeff and Karen have made this charity a living example of how we’re supposed to behave toward our less-fortunate neighbors, continuing long after the waters have receded and keeping their welfare paramount.