Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Rounder
Genre(s): Jazz, Pop/Rock
Preservation Hall was set up 50 years ago to give New Orleans musicians somewhere to play. It survived floods, tourism and the absence of a drink licence and is now internationally renowned. The first and second generations have passed on but the music is as strong as ever. This celebration, recorded live at Carnegie Hall, features the present band plus such New Orleans heroes as Allen Toussaint and Trombone Shorty.
With the help of some heavy donations, Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s 2010 benefit album, Preservation, featuring guest spots by Tom Waits, Merle Haggard, and Pete Seeger, helped rebuild the band’s eponymous home, still languishing in sodden decrepitude five years after Katrina. Now, with the hall restored to its former folksy splendor, the group celebrates its 50th anniversary, this time in a live context and with somewhat sprier collaborators, including My Morning Jacket, Merrill Garbus (better known as Tune-Yards), Mos Def, Lafayette indie rockers Givers, and Seeger’s grandson, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger. As Mitt Romney continues to court the elusive youth vote, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band makes a stronger play to the same demographic with this ebullient live disc, in which cameos by relative youngbloods energize such chestnuts as “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.
A special-guests-heavy celebration of the PHJB’s 50th anniversary. Martin Longley 2012 St. Peter Street is the location of Preservation Hall in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and 57th Street is where squats New York’s Carnegie Hall. This live set was recorded at the latter location in January 2012, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Preservation Hall’s house band.