Treme Panel at RisingTideNola and Treme Benefit at House of Blues

This past Saturday, I attended the RisingTideNola Conference at the Howlin’ Wolf that had not only a panel on Treme but others that were interesting since I am a (somewhat) new resident of NOLA.

The Treme panel consisted of Lolis Eric Elie, Becky Northcut of BackOf Town, Davis Rogan, Dave Walker of and Eric Overmyer of Treme and was moderated by Maitri Erwin of BackofTown.  My cobbled together, barely legible  notes and recollections are:

  • Writing process works with David Simon and Eric Overmyer coming up with general theme and local writers filling in the color.  David and Eric have final say.
  • Dave Walker gets an advance copy on Friday before show to put together an article on the various local references.  This is great info if you have never seen read any of his work.  Best way to find all the articles is do a search at with the words ” treme explained”.
  • 2nd season will be from time period of Fall 06-Spring 07, 3rd season (if picked up) will be Fall 07 – Spring 08, etc…
  • Primary focus will always be about recovery process following Katrina
  • Eric Overmyer said that being associated with The Wire has been both a blessing and a curse and that without the success of The Wire, Treme would probably not exist
  • Just like The Wire, his hope is that Treme will find its own audience and following
  • The Wire sells more DVD’s now than ever and hoping for the same for Treme to have a lasting audience
  • The 2nd season will show more violence since that time period in NOLA was more chaotic, also will show problems with school systems, infrastructure, mental health issues, etc.
  • Point was made from audience member that more of the artistic community from NOLA needs to be shown, not just the music and food.  Eric Overmyer said that will certainly be taken into consideration.
  • More types of music will be shown, including more rap and bounce
  • I think it was Lolis who said that some people have commented to him they can’t watch it since the wounds of Katrina are still not healed ( my note to this is that some of the people in NOLA that I know want nothing to do with the 5th anniversary of Katrina, it is time to move on)
  • One lady commented that she wants to see more “Aunt Mimi” and “Desiree” next season and Eric Overmyer assured that would happen…  Many claps from the audience.
  • I can’t remember the exact question from the audience but Eric commented that the writing or how characters are portrayed are not mouthpieces for how he or the other writers personally feel, just how they perceive the character should be portrayed.

As far as the other panels involved in the conference, the Public Safety was the other one I was most interested in.  A few highlights on this:

  • With a new police chief and re-organization, federal oversight  and an independent police monitor, the police force will be under serious scrutiny
  • Police Chief Ronal Serpas did not back down from what he said in the recent USA Today article that the Danziger Bridge documentation read like a “vile, disgusting novel”
  • The Danziger Bridge incident probably would have remained a secret if not for the family of the victims pursuing for redemption
  • Lying about or attempting to cover-up an incident in the future will have severe repercussions
  • If a police officers witnesses mis-conduct and does not report it, they will suffer the same consequences as the person who did the mis-conduct
  • Serpas said the professional cops embrace more oversight
  • More training, hiring practices and the promotion process are all being looked at
  • The recent revelation that former Chief Riley made a order to “shoot looters” during Katrina, the federal authorities will be taking care of that
  • My own feeling after hearing Serpas speak is that even though he started in the NOLA police dept before he went to the Washington State Police and Nashville, he is not wasting anytime kicking some ass

Watching Treme was furiously typing and taking notes 2 tables in front of me, so she has way more detail than I do on the Treme panel as well as the others, so click over and read.

Later that night, I headed over to the House of Blues for a “Night in Treme” fundraiser for the Make It Right Foundation.  Huge crowd, great music and they were giving away a DVD of the first episode of Treme when we left.  Still no word on when the DVD set or the soundtrack will be released.

House of Blues does not allow cameras so no pics from me.  People from HBO were shooting footage, not sure if this will be on DVD/soundtrack/shown next season.

I know I missed a few songs, but here is a stab at a set list in order of appearance.

  • Kermit Ruffins – “What A Wonderful World”, When The Saints Go Marching In”
  • Original Royal Players Brass Band, Treme Brass Band – “Gimme My Money Back”
  • Jon Cleary – “When U Get Back”
  • Irma Thomas – “Wish Someone Would Care”, “Time Is On My Side”
  • Coco Robicheaux – (assured us that nothing happened to the chicken)  “Walking With The Spirit”, “St. John’s Eve”
  • Paul Sanchez – “Accentuate the Positive” (with John Boutte), “Don’t Be Sure”
  • Davis Rogan – “Hurricane”, “Shame, Shame, Shame”
  • Lloyd Price – “Stagger Lee”, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, “Just Because”, “Personality”
  • James Andrews – “Big Chief”, “Ooh Poo Pah Do”
  • Al “Carnival Time” Johnson – “Carnival Time”
  • Creole Osceola Mardi Gras Indians – “Two Way Pak E Way”,”Ho Na Nae”
  • Rebirth Brass Band – “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up”, “Cassanova”
  • John Boutte – “At The Foot Of Canal Street”, “Treme Song”