Thursday, May 28, 2009

NOPV1 Reviewed by Alex Rawls in Offbeat Magazine!

"By now, it can’t be a surprise that there’s a lot that is subtly smart about the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Like the best traditional jazz, little of what’s special about New Orleans Preservation, Vol. 1 is obvious, but a little contemplation reveals a lot. For instance, it’s not until you get to Walter Payton’s faux-Armstrong vocal on “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” that you hear the sort of voice you expect on the album. Otherwise, Clint Maedgen and Mark Braud’s vocals suggest that traditional jazz isn’t just music for tourists and older generations. The inclusion of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel #9” and “Choko Mo Feel No Hey” (minus second line drums) says that traditional jazz is an approach to music, not a narrow library of antique texts. The inclusion of Maedgen’s original “Halloween” implies that the music can handle new songs as well. The pleasures of New Orleans Preservation, Vol. 1 aren’t solely conceptual. The ensemble playing is often wonderful, particularly in the ecstatic conclusion to “Tiger Rag,” where Braud’s trumpet and Charlie Gabriel’s clarinet keep threatening to break away from the band and each other, but never stray for good. On the Hall band’s first album since John Brunious’ passing, it also includes a second line of sorts for him, with “Westlawn Dirge” followed by a joyful “What a Friend” near the end of the album.

If nothing else, New Orleans Preservation, Vol. 1 is a public service because it reminds the many young traditional jazz bands in town how it’s done. Many are all energy with accelerated tempos and sometimes manic energy, but the Hall band measures out the music more deliberately, saving the energy so that when it ramps up, it has more impact. “Wish I Could Shimmy …” also tells young bands that nobody, not even Preservation Hall, should engage in Satchmo impressions because they’re always going to be FTO—For Tourists Only—no matter how well the song is played."
-Alex Rawls

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blind Boys Of Alabama; Live In New Orleans (DVD) - A Review


"...While Dr. John, Marva Wright, and Henry Butler were all equally as good as Tedeschi in their own rights, none of them were able to match what the Preservation Hall Jazz Band brought to the proceedings. "Down By The Riverside" is probably as old a chestnut as you're going to find when it comes to gospel songs, having been played to death by everybody from folk groups to school choirs. So it's quite some feat to make that song sound like you've never heard it before, but that's exactly what the combination of the Blind Boys and Preservation Hall manage to do. They imbue it with so much life and style that every other version I've ever heard before paled in comparison. You felt that if you could only get everybody singing along on "I ain't going study war no more" we'd have peace in our time before you knew it...


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Iggy Pop + Trad Jazz?

Very Interesting!

New album, Preliminaires, out 05.25.09!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NOPV1 Reviewed by

If Disneyland supposedly tops the list, then Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter has to be the second-happiest place on Earth. Walking into the old barebones room is like entering a time warp, traveling back to a period where there were no frills and the thrills all emanated right off the bandstand. The walls in the Hall are dark with age, and the humid air hangs in the Crescent City like a dare to those who go there. There are no fancy lights; rather the eyes are left to conjure some of their own details in the musicians’ faces. Make no mistake: those that play here are from a special class. They honor the traditions of a time many now see as antiquated, but actually exist in the rarefied place where forward movement is not counted in years. Inside Preservation Hall the clock stands still, except for the rushing blood of those lucky enough to sit on the benches and listen to music being played that helps define where we came from and where we are going. It is world music by the simple fact that people from around the planet flock there to try and touch a greatness not easily found today. These new recordings honor that tradition and then some. Young and old players make up the present Preservation Hall Jazz Band as they must, since the other side has claimed so many previous members. But this music doesn’t answer to a normal calendar. Rather, it’s all in the heart of those who play it, and while many of these songs have been around longer than cars, in these capable hands they hold the promise of tomorrow. “Short Dress Gal,” “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” and “What a Friend” and others set off visions of lives well spent and future joys waiting right outside the little room on St. Peter Street.


American Legacies:
Del McCoury Band with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Preservation Hall Midnight Preserves, 04.26.09
(photo by Adam McCullough)


Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Zigaboo Modeliste
Preservation Hall Midnight Preserves, 04.25.09
(photo by Adam McCullough)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Lineup Announced!

That's right! The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be performing at the 2009 Austin City Limits festival on Sunday, October 4! It's a heck of a lineup this year, as you can see below. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival will showcase a diverse blend of acts both fresh and familiar at the eighth edition of the event in Zilker Park October 2-4. Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, and Beastie Boys are performing for the first time at the Festival, with Kings of Leon, Ben Harper and Relentless7, and Thievery Corporation returning to Zilker Park once again. John Legend, The Dead Weather, and The Levon Helm Band will also make their ACL Festival debut, while Austin‘s own Ghostland Observatory will no doubt deliver another memorable set for festival goers.

With over 130 artists on this year’s bill, the list of acts awes at each note with the likes of Sonic Youth, Mos Def, Toadies, Flogging Molly, The B-52s, Lily Allen, Citizen Cope, Arctic Monkeys, The Decemberists, Coheed and Cambria, Andrew Bird, Girl Talk, and many more.

In the tradition of the TV show from which it was born, the Festival has always aimed to offer musical discovery for the fans. The 2009 lineup is rich with pop, country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, indie rock, hip-hop, and gospel, to name a few, spanning cultures and countries from New Orleans to Venezuela to France.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

PHJB & All-Star Cast at MSG for Pete Seeger's 90th

There's a lot of articles out there covering this, but here are a couple of fun ones:

Pete Seeger's all-star 90th birthday concert:
Springsteen, Baez, Matthews, and many more salute an American Hero
May 4, 2009, 12:35 PM | by Simon Vozick-Levinson
"...if I had to pick one, I think the most powerful song last night was "We Shall Overcome," an old union organizing tune before Seeger taught it to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the early sixties. Nearly everyone came out on stage for that one -- Ruby Dee, Baez, Dar Williams, Ani DiFranco, Bragg, Toshi Reagon, Scarlett Lee Moore, Pete's grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and probably a few others I'm forgetting. I'm still hoarse from crying out in unison with the thousands of audience members on those choruses..." READ FULL ARTICLE

From -

Springsteen Honors Pete Seeger
At Madison Square Garden

Friday, May 1, 2009

CNN Interviews Pete Seeger about Jazz Fest and Preservation Hall Recording

Pete Seeger inspires generations at Jazz Fest

May 1, 2009

By Sean Callebs and Jason Morris

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- The 90-year-old performer is one of many featured at this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Under blue skies on the main stage, with his grandson by his side, they close the set with the Woody Guthrie classic "This Land Is Your Land."

Pete Seeger performs on the Acura stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Pete Seeger performs on the Acura stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The voice isn't what it used to be, but the message is still as strong as ever. It was hard to tell who enjoyed the performance more -- Pete Seeger or the crowd.

CNN sat down with the folk singer and his grandson, musician Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, to talk about the 40th annual Jazz Fest, Preservation Hall and the generations Seeger has influenced. The following is a edited version of that interview.

CNN: What's it like coming here to Jazz Fest again, playing in the 40th anniversary, and seeing this crowd that loves you so much?

Pete Seeger: Well first of all, I think it's a fantastic job they've done here. Forty years, forty years. That's a tremendous achievement. And to keep it going year after year with new things and old things tangled up together.

CNN: And you got to go to Preservation Hall and record three tracks yesterday with that phenomenal band. What was that experience like?

Seeger: Oh thrilling. History!

CNN: Well, I think a lot of people would say that you two are history. I'm sure it was just a real honor for the band to be there as well.

Tao Rodriguez-Seeger: We recorded "We Shall Overcome," which we weren't really planning on doing. We just sort of walked in the hall, and they were in the back warming up, and I guess they were warming up on "We Shall Overcome" and we joined them.

And it just sounded so good. It was just this upbeat, party-tempo "We Shall Overcome" like I have never heard before.

And I feel like you only find this kind of thing in New Orleans. I love that you can combine a deep old meaningful spiritual with these kinds of carnival approaches to music.

Like Emma Goldman said: If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution. (laughs) And I just think here in New Orleans, we still have those traditions going...