Rebuilding with the Blues

Marva Wright

After the Levees Broke (AIM, 2007)

The blues sings about pain and there was much pain in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Marva Wright dedicates this album, recorded in New Orleans and Australia, to her hometown. Marva herself was affected by the tragedy. "When I say ‘I lost everything,’ I mean everything—every stick of furniture, every piece of clothing," says Marva Wright. "I don’t even have a photograph of my mother and father anymore. The reason After the Levees Broke is so important is first of all to show people that I’m back and still singing. Secondly, I want to draw attention to New Orleans and what happened here. Nobody can fully appreciate the devastation until they come here and see it for themselves."

Marva Wright is known as the blues Queen of New Orleans. Her style combines southern electric blues with jazzy pieces and spirited Gospel, backed by a real choir.


Wright was so affected by her loss that she couldn’t bring herself to write about the storm or any of the resulting tragedies. Her long-time bassist, Benny Turner stepped in to write both "The Levee is Breaking Down" and "Katrina Blues". The opening track sings a bitter first-hand account of the flood and the cries for help from the rooftops… "I’m standin’ here wavin’ but he passed right over me… I know he can see me!"

Beloved New Orleans musician/composer Allen Toussaint has a guest spot on piano.

Buy After the Levees Broke

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.