NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It's kind of like the soundtrack of the French Quarter.
First-time visitors might think it is pre-recorded music coming out of a French Quarter store… but it's better than that. It's the Steamboat Natchez.
Debbie Fiano has been playing the calliope on top the Steamboat Natchez for 20 years. Originally from Western Australia, she cranks up the steam and is ready to go.
"Right we get the aux steam from the boilers that push the boat," she said. "The same steam I get 16 pounds of pressure to blow the whistles. They can hear it across the river, they can hear it over in Treme. They can, I know, hear it in Musician Village. They can sit on their porch and hear the calliope in the morning. I have probably several hundred songs that I play."
What's her typical playlist?
"Well, usually I like to open with a weather report. So you can tell your weather people that I'm up on it. Like, for instance, it's a beautiful day, zip-a-dee-doo-dah! I would play something like blue skies because there are no clouds it the sky. Today we have a group of red hot ladies. I might play a pretty girl song."
Debbie says the she really enjoys her job.
"Even when I'm walking around the boat after I play, people will come up and say 'we've never heard one of those. What is it?' And they have a lot of questions. Just makes people happy."