With the release of his first book, talented New Orleans musician, singer and songwriter Paul Sanchez invites the reader to share his journey from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans to a renewed life and a new New Orleans.
"What I lost in the flood was my stuff: what I've found since is my life."
"Pieces Of Me" is a very personal collection of essays, initially written as blogs, documenting the torment of Sanchez's life after the flood, leaving the band Cowboy Mouth and facing an uncertain future before finding himself in a new world filled with the kind of love and music he had long been searching for.
"I have been looking for a connection to something for a long time and I found it right here where I started. The music, the people, the feeling that life is for living and work shouldn't be taken too seriously. The sense of community in the streets, talking to people you know and people that you don't know with the same familiarity."
"The magic hasn't been lost and that was, I guess, what we all feared the most as the events of the Thing, (as writer Chris Rose has called it), unfolded. ultimately the magic is in each of us anyway."
"The moment that feels like sublime perfection when John Boutte' sings or Shamarr Allen plays his horn on a night when you know the rest of the country is tucked in, is only wonderful if you open up and allow yourself to experience it."
Fans of Sanchez know that when he takes to the stage and begins to sing you are unwittingly swept up in his pain, his joy and his love for life and for New Orleans. Through this honest, heart warming and at times laugh out loud funny book you will also become better acquainted with Sanchez and many of the musicians that he calls friends.
From Sal Nunziatio, Huffington Post April 10, 2009:
As we approach the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I often wonder, as I hope millions of others often wonder, how are all those amazing people who lost their homes and their lives? Have they found a place to live? Have they started over? Are they with their loved ones? Do they still have the will to live? (As you know, soon after, many did not.) I do hope that there are millions with this on their minds. It doesn't have to be at the forefront. I'd be satisfied with placement in their Top Ten. Some days, it feels like it's not even as important as American Idol.
Paul Sanchez knows what it's like to be away from home. When you're a working musician, home is often anywhere you lay your hat. You deal with cold motel rooms, cold food, and cold people. You deal with it because you know that eventually the warmth of your family and your friends and your own bed are always waiting for you.
Paul was on tour when that bitch of a storm came barreling through New Orleans in August of 2005. Paul watched in horror when the levees broke, and flooded his city. We all did. But when the majority of us had seen enough, and we settled in with a cup of tea and a Seinfeld rerun at the end of our day, Paul did not. Paul could not. Not his choice. When we woke up a few days later and put on a pot of coffee, made some breakfast, and got the kids off to school, we forgot temporarily, that arguably the greatest city in all of America was under water. We forgot because we didn't experience it, therefore, it doesn't exist.
I spoke to a good friend of mine on September 12, 2001. I live in NYC. He lives in Los Angeles. The afternoon of September 12, 2001, not a full day after the worst terror attack on American soil, my friend put me on hold as I was telling my 9/11 story. He "didn't realize it was STILL that bad in New York." 24 hours later and he didn't "realize." He's a pretty smart guy and I love him. But COME ON! My friend wasn't here. I gave him some slack, though not much. And we weren't there, in New Orleans. It's easy to forget. Just not for the good, innocent people of New Orleans.
Paul hasn't forgotten.
Paul Sanchez, along with Threadhead Records, has just released "Pieces Of Me," a book of essays written before, during and after the harrowing experience that was Hurricane Katrina. The stories are funny and heartbreaking, personal and disturbing, entertaining and frustrating. Paul shares his sadness and his loss, his denial and his acceptance and most importantly his will to take back his life.
Paul Sanchez continues to make music as well, and his new record "Stew Called New Orleans," a collaboration with his good friend and New Orleans treasure, John Boutte was just released. Together, the book and the CD show remarkable spirit and determination, and show solid evidence why we should be thankful for people like Paul Sanchez.
released March 10, 2009
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