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On Saturday afternoon, day two of Benoit's call to arms for the wetlands, a quiet conversation played out behind the pavilion stage. The outdoor venue had been permanently abandoned to the rain and wind. Benoit stood shoulder to shoulder with 60s pop princess Susan Cowsill, who brought her New Orleans band and brothers Bob and Paul to support Benoit. Cowsill lost her bother Barry in Katrina, and her presence symbolizes loyalty to home for many residents of the Crescent City.
Cowsill said that Benoit is "fighting the good fight for hurricane survivors" and that music is the perfect medium. Once again a sense of place defined the conversation. "I think that it is wonderful and important that Tab is doing what he does for the wetlands," she explained. "His music is heartfelt and totally indigenous to our state. He is also a very sweet man who cares deeply about what goes on here, and I am actually very proud to be associated with him."
After what she has been through, losing home, family, and possessions to Katrina's floodwaters, Cowsill spoke with authority. Like Benoit, she's not leaving.
But what is this "indigenous" music that Cowsill mentions? Is it definable, or is it as elusive as the glowing orbs of swamp gas that float across the marshes? Writer, producer, photographer, and songstress Ann Savoy is a fierce advocate of Cajun music and Louisiana in general. Familiar to mainstream audiences because of her appearance in the movie Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, Savoy also collaborated with Linda Ronstadt on the critically acclaimed CD Adieu False Heart [Vanguard].
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