I’ve flirted with writing my whole life. I’ll never admit to actually being a writer, and when it comes to this site, the words are always the last things to be added and uploaded. Because the photos on this site take such precedence, the writing sometimes warms up the bench.
From time to time I joke about some day uploading a feature filled with great photos and surrounded by generated Lorim ipsum text. I’d be hard pressed to ever pull a stunt like that, but I will say this, I could always use some improvement when it comes to forming interesting sentences here on iHeartnola.com.
I’ve been a huge fan of Keith Spera’s ever since I started really paying attention to music. His range and heartfelt passion for not only music in general, but for New Orleans music, can be seen in every line. In Spera’s latest release Groove Interrupted, the byline of the book sums up the last 7 years of New Orleans history : “Loss, Renewal, and The Music of New Orleans”. In the forward of the book, Harry Shearer describes New Orleans music as not a “scene” but a “culture”. Culture is a buzzword these days and has always been at the tip of everyone’s tongue when it came to describing New Orleans’ eccentricities. It’s so very true and dead on, New Orleans is built on a bedrock of culture and history. We very rarely deviate and enjoy each and every last sip, bite, drop, and note of it.
Released initially as a hard back, “Groove Interrupted” has recently made it to paperback land with updated cover design and photographs. Weighing in at at 250+ pages, Spera invites us all into his intimate New Orleans musical experiences. With chapter titles that read like gig posters, Spera entices us as readers with just a few words. Some of my favorite titles from Groove include : “Fat’s Domino’s Excellent Adventure”, “Terence Blanchard and a Muse Named Katrina”, “Jeremy Davenport Makes a Record”, “Mystikal Versus Michael Tyler”, “To Hell and Back with Phil Anselmo”, and “Bouncing with Juvenile”. Through each chapter, 13 of them in total, further cements Spera’s dedication to being the ultimate “fly on the wall” type journalist. The stories throughout the book gives a realistic glimpse into the lives of some of New Orleans, and my own musical heroes. It was so great to escape with Keith into his personal wanderlust. His dedication page that reads “For Mary, Sophie, and Sam, my favorite melodies” is one of the best dedications I’ve ever read. Just brilliant!