Benefit albums and Tom Waits both seem to really “in” these days. Recently, the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band decided to combine the best of both worlds and create the incredibly down-to-business titled Preservation, an Album Benefiting Preservation Hall and Its Music Outreach Program.
As a recently issued press release explains (via who else? TFB), “over the last year, more than 20 of American music’s most exciting artists traveled to Preservation Hall in New Orleans to collaborate with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on classic New Orleans repertoire.” Among those 20 artists are the aforementioned Mr. Waits, who has a couple other new releases forthcoming as well, Pete Seeger, Merle Haggard, My Morning Jacket/Monster of Folk’s Jim James, Andrew Bird, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Richie Havens, Jason Isbell, Angelique Kidjo, Amy LaVere, Del McCoury, Budy Miller, and Paolo Nutini. Not bad, eh?
The end result is billed as a timeless and joyous celebration of New Orleans music. Proceeds from the sale of the project will benefit Preservation Hall and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program.
“Our community is deeply rooted in a tradition of using music to rejoice, heal and overcome adversity. We play music at our funerals to uplift our spirits during our deepest and darkest emotional moments,” says producer Ben Jaffe, PHJB Creative Director and son of Preservation Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe. “My goal on this project was to create new works steeped in the New Orleans Tradition with artists from diverse musical genres and backgrounds who all share a mutual admiration and deep appreciation for our cultural heritage.”
A complete tracklist is still forthcoming, but the press release notes that Waits’ contribution will come in the form of an arrangement of the earliest known recorded Mardi Gras Song, “Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing”, while Brandi Carlile’s did a rendition of the gospel classic “Old Rugged Cross”.
Preservation will be available Fat Tuesday, February 16th in standard CD, deluxe edition and double-LP collectible formats via RED Distribution.