On February 5, OK Go released You’re Not Alone, a five-song digital EP featuring New Orleans brass band Bonerama, which includes four trombones in its lineup. All proceeds from this project, available exclusively from iTunes, will benefit members of New Orleans’ music community who continue to struggle to rebuild their homes and lives after the levy failures that followed Hurricane Katrina’s impact on August 29, 2005, the costliest hurricane in U.S. history and one of the deadliest.
Proceeds from You’re Not Alone will go to Sweet Home New Orleans, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping repatriate and support the thousands of local musicians who were scattered by Katrina, as well as building a new Habitat for Humanity home for musician Al Johnson. Johnson wrote “Carnival Time,” the unofficial anthem of Mardi Gras, and his vocals can be heard on You’re Not Alone’s “I Shall Be Released.” Johnson’s Lower 9th Ward home was washed off its foundation by the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina and later demolished by the city without his knowledge or consent. He has been living in Houston, Texas for the past two years.
“New Orleans is one of the last places in America where music is truly a fundamental part of everyday life,” says OK Go singer Damian Kulash. “People get together on the weekends and parade through the streets just playing songs; 12-year-old kids learn funk on the tuba; everyone dances. Life elsewhere in the world simply isn’t as celebratory. If we allow the culture of New Orleans to die by leaving its musicians marooned around the country, America will have lost one of its great treasures.“
For more information, go to www.okgo.net/news.aspx.