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Queen of the Second Lines

April 10, 2010

Of all the links Dave Walker has recommended as primers for Treme, he’s been halted from mentioning one of the best, probably because the T-P just doesn’t want to mention that weekly in town.  So I would be completely remiss in letting this go on the cusp of the show’s premiere…

Anything on The Gambit‘s Blog of New Orleans with Red Cotton’s byline is a must-read, complete with YouTube clips she herself has taken of the SA&PCs strutting their stuff and of the brass bands that get it going.

If you haven’t had enough of the clips accompanying her blog posts, go crazy over at Big Red Cotton’s YouTube channel.  Here’s a sampling of what she serves up: a little Rebirth wending its way through the Treme on Mardi Gras day:

Who is Red Cotton?  None other than Deborah Cotton, the author of Notes From New Orleans,

an edited collection of articles from the column of the same name published online at, a Black entertainment news site, between September ’05 and June ’07. The articles, which have been edited and grouped in thematic rather than chronological order, are a first-person comic-tragic account of life and times in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.

Deborah is out and about in town doing her job as a journalist and community activist when she’s not chronicling the second lines in her neighborhood.

All of this reminds me that I must dig out my own copy of Notes and read it again, ’cause it’s good…and ’cause I have a question for Red: have you found your James yet? 😉

  1. Kevin permalink
    April 10, 2010 1:16 pm

    Liprap, THANK YOU for giving Red Cotton the attention she deserves. Her videos and her voice on Blog of New Orleans are both outstanding, and she’s the only journalist in town who’s systematically covering the SA&PC/brass band scene. Plus she is funny as hell.

    I’ve submitted her work for a Press Club of New Orleans award this year (in the somewhat vague category of ‘multimedia’), and I have hopes that she’ll blow away the judges, who are all out-of-town journalists.

    Kevin (from Gambit)

  2. ethan brown permalink
    April 10, 2010 3:03 pm

    I strongly second the endorsement of Deb. Her second line videos/posting of second line schedules over at the Gambit site are must watch/reads for me.

    And Deb is a very savvy observer of NOLA politics and culture, too.

  3. doctorj2u permalink
    April 10, 2010 6:45 pm

    Thank you so much for the link! Debora truly captured New Orleans for me on her Eurweb posts and I am the PROUD owner of an autographed copy of “Notes from New Orleans”. I did not know she was posting anymore. I will definitely put the link in my favorites list. Thanks liprap! I cannot wait to check it out and say “Hi!” to her again.

  4. Red permalink
    April 12, 2010 8:31 pm

    I am SO TOUCHED!! Leigh, Kevin, Ethan – you three are folks I have such great affection for, I’m so touched and honored by your approbation. HA! Queen:)


  5. April 12, 2010 10:23 pm

    I need to make you up an appropriate costume now, Deb – or at least a bitchin’ headdress with a tiara to blind all the debutantes. 😎


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