I first met this Texas native on a subway train in lower Manhattan. I remember that on that afternoon, he was wearing the eleke beads that typically mark someone as an initiate in spiritual traditions of West African origin. We got to talking, we struck up a friendship, and I've been an admirer and avid consumer of his work ever since. I often pull Boing Boing blog post ideas from his excellent (and private) mailing list.
Ned's books include The Year Before the Flood, The World That Made New Orleans, and Cuba and Its Music. His most recent album of recordings is Cowboy Rumba , and a new album, Kiss You Down South, will be out as soon as he finishes recording it (nudge, nudge!). He lives in New York City, and is known to show up from time to time in New Orleans.