Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers

Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

Biography

As he watched the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on television, Joe Grushecky felt sad about the lives lost. He felt empathy for the survivors whose hopes and dreams were at best deferred and in most cases shattered. Empathy because just a year earlier Grushecky saw first hand what can happen when nature reminds us just how fragile life can be.

In September 2004, the Pittsburgh area was inundated by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan. Joe’s friends and co-workers were among the many people who suffered damage to their homes and property. Grushecky’s roadie lost his car. He got off light.

Many in the flooded neighborhoods had several feet of water in their basements. In Pittsburgh, where winter comes early, this presented a new set of problems for the stricken locals. They needed new furnaces to heat their homes and they needed them quickly.

The Salvation Army organized a program to make this happen but the program needed funding. Grushecky stepped in and organized “Flood Aid.”
Bruce Springsteen joined his friend Grushecky at the early December concert which raised over $250'000 for the Salvation Army’s flood relief efforts.

Sitting comfortably in his living room a thousand miles from the deluge and fury Katrina visited upon New Orleans Joe Grushecky felt helpless. The more he saw on television the angrier he became. Frustration with the inept handling of the recovery by our government got Grushecky’s blood boiling.

When he couldn’t bear to watch the news anymore, Grushecky picked up his guitar. The words came easily.

When Grushecky sings the pointed lyrics his voice seethes with the anger he felt earlier. It sounds as if he were ready to explode at any minute. The song is called “Lake Pontchartrain.”

“Praying for someone to save us
Someone to tell us the truth

I’m gonna cry for Louisiana
Gonna cry for New Orleans
They said the water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain”

©2005 Joe Grushecky Music Publishing

A Pittsburgh native and lifelong resident, Joe Grushecky recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as a recording artist with the release of a new album, True Companion.

With the backing of his longtime band the Houserockers, Grushecky’s songs turn into gritty blue collar anthems with a unique Pittsburgh perspective.

In 1995, Grushecky joined songwriting forces with Bruce Springsteen. The fruits of their labor included American Babylon, a Grushecky and the Houserockers album produced by Springsteen which included a couple of tracks co-written by Grushecky and Springsteen. “Code Of Silence,” which won a Grammy this year is another Springsteen/Grushecky collaboration turned. It is included on up on The Essential Bruce Springsteen which was released in 2003.

Grushecky and the Houserockers have released a dozen albums since 1979. They were the first band to perform live at the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and have toured the U.S. and Europe extensively. They have often been called, “the world's greatest bar band.”



Lyrics

Lake Pontchartrain

Written By: Joe Grushecky

The hurricane is coming
Blowing 15 inches of rain
We got trapped in this city
When the levees started to break

Wading through the dirty water
Clinging to life on a roof
Praying for someone to save us
Someone to tell us the truth

I’m Gonna cry for Louisiana
Cry for New Orleans
They said the water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain
The water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain

Take magnolia to the big dome
Where they play the football games
Hold on to our living
Leave the bodies where they lay

Got to find some food and water
Got to keep our people safe
They said the calvary are coming
I hope they’re not too late
I’m gonna cry for Louisiana
Cry for New Orleans
They said the water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain
The water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain

Where’s the helicopters
Where is the reserve
Where is everything that was promised
Is this all that we deserve

Rape and murder
water and blood
Who are we going to turn to
after the flood

I’m gonna cry for Louisiana
Cry for New Orleans
They said the water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain
The water is rising
On Lake Pontchartrain

Discography

1979 Love's So Tough MCA
1980 Cracking Under Pressure MCA
1980 Have a Good Time But Get Out Alive MCA
1981 Blood on the Bricks MCA
1988 Swimming With the Sharks Rounder
1989 Rock & Real Rounder
1992 End of the Century Razor & Tie
1995 American Babylon Razor & Tie
1998 Coming Home Viceroy
1999 Down the Road Apiece Live Schoolhouse
2002 Fingerprints Schoolhouse
2004 True Companion Schoolhouse