Angel of New Orleans / Various
'If you are wandering the New Orleans French Quarter streets, you likely will come upon what seems a statue of an angel, all in white and with chalked face and hands. She stands stock-still until someone drops a donation in the cup at her feet. Then the angel moves, ever so gently, and offers a smile for all to enjoy. The angel is just one of the many street performers gracing the French Quarter and offering all a taste of the city's unique culture. David Roe and his juke joint piano is another. The City Government of New Orleans has tried many times to shut the street performers down. Even though they are one of the main tourist attractions there. It has something to do with permits and fees and who you know. Everything is not always logical in the Crescent City. But to date, the street musicians are still alive and playing every day. David Roe is one of the most prominent. I first saw David Roe playing his piano in the middle of a side street in the French Quarter. He had gathered quite an audience when some guy in a hurry began to honk his horn to get past. David reluctantly left his piano stool and walked over to the impatient fellow's car. A few quiet words were exchanged and the guy backed up down the street.The crowd cheered and the piano music resumed. Things often work out fine if you give them enough time and don't panic. That's the message of this warm and joyous new CD from David Roe and friends. It celebrates the near-miracle of David's survival, alongside his wife, Laura, of a March, 1999 fiery Illinois train derailment, and this CD's sales will benefit rescue agencies who saved the Roe's lives a great cause, but it's the music itself that makes this CD worth having . R e c o r d ed live in New Orleans last November, 'Angel of New Orleans' mixes trad jazz, ('When You're Smiling', ''Bye Bye Blues'), with New Orleans folk, (Steve Goodman's 'City of New Orleans'). The effect is very nice. Roe's brass band includes 72-year old cornet legend Jack Fine, and the sound is augmented by bluegrass fiddle (Tom Nuendel) and mandolin (Jim Hancock) for a very unique flavor. Great vocals and piano by Roe and a carny-dream atmosphere to this CD that will have you up on your feet and dancing, with a smile, whatever the weather may be! A very fun record . . '