http://youtu.be/gXGLq9NAykI
 
By Angie Manning

When the CVB team embarked upon the task of showcasing not just "what" there is to experience in Southwest Louisiana, but really what it "feels" like to experience Southwest Louisiana through video, music also bubbled to the surface of the conversation. This corner of the state is showered with gifts from natural beauty to nature's bounty, and while it thrives with tradition, culture and mouthwatering cuisine, there is a sense of home mixed in with exciting nightlife. How can you capture all of that in a video?

My executive director, Shelley Johnson, and I felt that music was a huge part of the "My Southwest Louisiana Home" video project. How could we just pick an existing song to complement something as personal and intimate as capturing the magic of a place we love so much?

We needed something original. Music sets the tone for the visual, and whenever thinking about who could write a song - like that - to evoke the spirit of the area and people, Wendy Colonna came to mind in an instant. Not only is Wendy from Southwest Louisiana, but she is a supremely talented songwriter who also happens to be a storyteller in her compositions.
 
Wendy Colonna and Angie Manning

For the video aspect, working with Adam Boozer and his team at Stowaway was completely seamless from concept to completion. Stowaway gets to the heart of the story of a destination, the emotion, smells, feelings, spirit of the people - those things that video cannot literally capture - need to somehow resonate for inspiring travel.

 

Adam Boozer of Stowaway

The CVB in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana put together a one week shoot based on Adam's trip to scout the area and learn about our unique culture, and we were also able to partner with Parker Brand Creative. Thanks to many volunteers and partners in tourism and local talent, we were able to piece together a fantastic video to showcase the area.

Wendy, who currently resides in Austin, TX, is known for her signature voice of grit-infused-honey, and her songs echo swampy-southern tales of loss, mortality, joy, reclaimed innocence and celebration. Whenever filmmaker Adam Boozer of Stowaway, Wendy and I talked for the first time about the project of "My Southwest Louisiana Home," immediately, I could tell that this adventure was meant to be - all being on the same page artistically.

From start to finish, glimmers of lyrics and themes came to mind like ingredients being put into a giant gumbo pot. At the end of the day, the song came together and was absolutely seasoned to perfection by Wendy's ability to make sense of all the ideas.

Wendy came home to Lake Charles to record with Matt Moss (bass guitar), Brandon Ledet (accordion), Joel Savoy (fiddle), Sam Broussard (slide guitar) and Doug Gay (drums) - all Louisiana musicians. The song was recorded and mixed by Matt Moss at EMF Productions, located in Lake Charles Music Plaza.
 
The CVB is proud to have its first commissioned song, "My Southwest Louisiana Home."

See the video: http://youtu.be/gXGLq9NAykI

Find out more from Wendy Colonna, the songwriter, in a two part interview by Austin Chronicle here.

Read the lyrics to "My Southwest Louisiana Home"