Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cyril Neville abandons New Orleans.

"New Orleans is dead, man. It's dead," the singer-percussionist says, sitting on a red couch in an otherwise drab South Austin apartment complex where he has lived for the last month.

"Don't get me wrong. I love New Orleans. But the New Orleans I loved was gone long before the storm hit."

Music has long been the pulse of New Orleans' culture. But now musicians are scattered across the country. And no one can predict how many will return and how many will stay put in Austin or New York or Nashville, where Aaron and Art Neville are now living.

If too many of them stay away for good, the funky vibe that defines New Orleans may never be the same.

Bad news. Very bad news.

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