Soul Serenade

Treme: Music Fromt the HBO Original Series, Season OneI usually use this space to discuss one of my favorite soul songs. This week, for a bit of a change of pace, I’m going to address an entire album, and give you a chance to win a copy of the CD. Read through until the end to find out how.

I find myself in the strange position of being totally devoted to the culture of New Orleans, despite never having visited the Crescent City. Apparently I speak with sufficient knowledge of the city and its food and music that friends are often astonished that I’ve never actually been there. What can I say? It’s on my list.

If you share my love of the city that care forgot, you probably tuned in when HBO aired the first season of the terrific New Orleans-based series Treme earlier this year. I couldn’t get enough of it, and I’m really looking forward to season two. There are a lot of reasons to watch Treme, the writing and acting are superb for a start, but for me the number one reason is the show’s employment of local musicians to lend an air of authenticity to the proceedings. Week in and week out the series featured some of New Orleans’ best in live performance and as a backdrop for the drama.

Now HBO is releasing a first season soundtrack album, Treme: Music From the HBO Original Series, Season One (Geffen Records). The soundtrack features artists who were heard and seen in the series. They include John Boutte who provide “The Treme Song,” the show’s theme song. There are also tracks from Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, Steve Earle, Irma Thomas, Donald Harrison, and the Treme Brass Band among others. The soundtrack album works on several levels. It is a terrific companion piece to the Treme series, a primer who for anyone who wants to know more about the music of New Orleans, and simply a great party mix that will get you on your feet and moving.

This music is festive, funky, and freewheeling. It will help you locate that soul that you’ve been looking for lately. But first you need the album, right? So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to provide a copy of the Treme soundtrack album to one lucky reader. All you have to do is send an e-mail to with the word ‘contest’ in the subject line, and the answer to the following question in the body:

HBO’s Treme television series was created by David Simon, who is best known for creating the legendary HBO series The Wire. Several actors from The Wire appear in Treme. Name the actor who portrayed a homicide detective in The Wire and who now portrays a trombone player in Treme.

Spelling counts, so be careful. The deadline for entries is Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. At that time I will choose one winner from the correct answers. This contest is open only to readers with a valid US mailing address. Good luck!

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About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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