"New Orleans Social Club"

Austin City Limits

by David Gutowski

With Hurricane Katrina's devastating attack on America's Gulf Coast over a year old, it is sometimes easy to forget the pain and suffering of its victims, not to mention the former vitality of the affected towns and their citizens. The New Orleans Social Club's performance on Austin City Limits was a graphic reminder of both.

I had never heard of the New Orleans Social Club until last spring, when I heard an NPR piece about the band's new album. Three of New Orleans' legendary Neville Brothers (Ivan, Cyril and Charles) combined with two members of the Meters (Leo Nocentelli and George Porter, Jr.), and Raymond Weber & Henry Butler to form the band, and recorded Sing Me Back Home in seven days with the help of friends Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Dr. John, Willie Tee, Troy (Trombone Shorty) Andrews, the subdudes, the Mighty Chariots of Fire, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and John Boutte. As impressive as this group of musicians is, the album exceeded my expectations. The arrangements are loose but perfect, each player gave his all in this testament to New Orleans, both old and new.

Having enjoyed the album, I was looking forward to their ACL performance. The band roared to life with their first song, then brought out accompanying guest after guest. Piano whirlwind Marcia Ball and soul diva Irma Thomas added a rousing "Look Up," while Cyril Neville got political with "This Is My Country." Brother Ivan Neville followed that theme with "Fortunate Son." The band even flexed some reggae muscles, backing Big Chief Monk Boudreaux in a reggae-influenced "Chase."

As the band effortlessly worked through their songs, melding perfectly with whatever guest they were accompanying, I found myself thinking of New Orleans. The performance had much the same effect on me as had Sing Me Back Home, but seeing the joy, the anger, hope in the eyes and voices of the musicians brought the tragedy closer, along with a revitalized commitment on my part to continue to help the cause. The band's Austin City Limits performance combined this faith, hope, and friendship, and reminded us all of the true spirit of New Orleans.


I'm a casual passerby of PBS sometimes, and other times wait weeks for a PBS program to air. Austin City Limits has always been in the casual category. In the mid 70s Saturday afternoon TV was "Hee Haw", "Bobby Goldsboro", Andre the Giant doing a piledriver or some guy fishing. If you cranked the dial over to PBS, you might get stuffy talk shows or Sesame Street repeats, or you might be so fortunate to land on an airing of Austin City Limits. Desperate attempts to pull the show in would frantically ensue, like nudging that outer dial that fine tunes the reception and tossing about the antenna wire. Well, I just had another such experience tonight here in 2006. Typically unassuming, the show welcomes you to yet another fine evening under the glowing monuments decorating the intimate set of the show. Tonight's was an apparent repeat of an episode featuring the New Orleans social club, a New Orleans blues and rock band that was at the time of original airing was currently displaced by Hurricane Katrina. All I can say that viewing this episode was an experience I'll never forget. I appreciate the fact that ACL still going strong and has never been altered one bit.

I would very much like to purchase a video of the New Orleans Social Club - Austin City limits(#3202) performance shown on PBS last night at 9:00 PM ET. It was a live performance of the Sing me Back Home Album as you know well. Can you please let me know if it is possible to obtain a copy of this great show? Unfortunately, I only saw a little of the performance. Thanks- Jeff Pink

When will the NOSC performance air again?

Can someone tell me, please, I would love to see it, again.


I enjoyed the social club performance, and would like to know when they will be coming back on. Also where can the album be found and if a tape of the program can be bought. please give more information on big chief nont bouto. thank you

I would like to know when the performance will be broadcast again. I am originally from the city of New Orleans. I am living in the Chicago area at this time. I was only able to see the last 5 minutes of the program.
Thank you,
John Robinson

The New Orleans Social Club episode of Austin City Limits will be refed probably sometime next summer, though we haven't yet set an exact date. Check with your local PBS station for airdates.

Alas, the episode is not available on DVD. The CD Sing Me Back Home, however, is available anywhere CDs are sold, and the proceeds benefit Katrina victims.

We're happy to hear so many folks discovered and enjoyed the program. Thanks, everybody.

Michael Toland
Manager, National Productions

I happened to catch New Orleans Social Club quite by accident. Since evacuating New Orlens Aug. 28, 2005, I've been living in a small rural Louisiana town. We don't have cable and only about 2 or 3 of the channels come through clearly. While flipping channels one Friday night I saw this band and recognized Ivan Neville, George Porter and Leo Nocentelli. So, I stopped flipping and took a seat. However, even though I've seen the program twice, I never caught it from the beginning. Do you know if a DVD will ever be available and, if so, where can I get it? This is the type of program I could watch a thousand times because it took me home. If you know anyone in the right places, tell them that this type of program should be made available to the entire country -- the world. Let everyone see LOVE in action. Let the world know that even big bad Katrina cannot kill New Orleans music.

When is Austin City Limits: New Orleans Social Club going to be put on DVD? Thanks.

I just saw The New Orleans Social Club on ACL for the first time! WOW!!! When and where can I PLEASE purchase the DVD? The entire show touched my heart, made me dance and laugh and cry all at once. What a FANTASTIC, inspiring performance. And they're right. We must take our country back. Beginning with New Orleans!
PS Since our government is failing to rebuild New Orleans' neighborhoods and schools, maybe the Social Club could raise money performing in Europe and other parts of the world and seek international donations to help rebuild the New Orleans' neighborhoods that our own government ignored and to fix the levees for once and for all - (like they have in Holland).

I just finished watching an ACL replay of the New Orleans Society Club performance on my local PBS channel... Fantastic!

I did purchase the CD, but it does not have the closing song featured on the ACL show. After all of the heartfelt singing contributions throughout the show, this uplifting "closing song" should not be limited to a twice a year showing. Surely, there's a way to generate even more relief funds with a CD or DVD which includes the closing medly of singers and muscians. It's a winner!! Comment?

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How can I get a DVD of the Austin City Limits concert of New Orleans Social Club. Also, why was I not able to tape it? Are those concertts protected in some way?

Will the program be available on DVD?

where can i order your dvd of austin city limits new orleans social club by david gutowski. thank you . 11/09/07

Is anyone going to answer these questions...???? Will the program be available on DVD? Where can a DVD of Austin City Limits New Orleans Social Club be obtained?????
Hello? Anyone out there with an answer?
Austin City Limits?????

The New Orleans Social Club concert on ACL - just adding my name to the list of requests - this stuff is hot. And John Boutte singing "Why" was a musical moment in time. The whole show captured the feel of the New Orleans music. Please release this on DVD soon - or sooner.

Haha - thank you in advance!


This was one of the most uplifting and mesmerizing shows on tv let alone ACL. From the first song to the last was just great heartfelt music. What a band and from "this is my country", and who would deny Cyril that it isn't, to the emotional plea of John Boutte's "Why", what a concert. Come on put this on DVD. don't ask why, just say why not.

I am currently in Balad, Iraq and just happened to wake up, turned on the TV and to my surprise there's a group "New Orleans Social Club" and I loved them from the very first moment I saw them performing.

How can I purchase a DVD of their performance on Austin City Limits? Wow they put on really nice show.

put this out on video,,,
drummers you talk about in the pocket!!

PLEASE publish a DVD!


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