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I'm listening to A Prairie Home Companion from a few weeks ago. The week of Hurricane Katrina, New Orlean's own Dirty Dozen Brass Band played the show from the Minnesota State Fair. I've always been a fan, and sometimes a player myself, of their style of music, from the first time I heard Satchmo rip high notes out of the horn like they were going to save his life. There is so much great music from that part of the country. Its an odd experience to hear Garrison Keillor discuss the tragedy and then hear such bright, dancing music from people who probably feel so broken and scared for their friends and family. I'm reminded then that it was through suffering and fear that the their music was created. Dixieland, blues, gospel, and jazz, none of these were invented by some comfortable elitists in an air-conditioned room trying to come up with the next big thing, nor were they commissioned of by kings or queens for royal appreciation. Most of the best music that has been created in America has been created in the crucible of hardship, and why not? Who needs music the most, anyway, if not someone who doesn't have much else? Among other things, I'll be praying that the people affected by the storm find themselves a song. Say a prayer and write a check, people.

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