Preservation Hall Jazz Band - "An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall" - Preservation Hall - 2010
There are big names who sit in on the "Album To Benefit Preservation Hall": Tom Waits, Merle Haggard, Dr. John, Steve Earle, and even Louis Armstong. But the true star of this two-disc album is New Orleans and the many jazz standards that came from it.
Sitting at a whopping 25 tracks, the album has many immediately indentifiable songs to locals -- "Basin Street Blues," "Blue Skies," "St. James Infirmary," the list goes on -- but that familiarity isn't a negative. At a time when New Orleans is struggling to keep its culture relevant nationally, this album is a delightful reminder of what made this city's music so pleasant to begin with.
The guest artists play their parts fittingly, evoking a whimsical, old timey sound that is felt throughout the record. Tom Waits hoo-nah-nay's with the best of them on "Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing," which must be the most upbeat song of his otherwise somber discography, Ani DiFranco is delightful on "Freight Train," and New Orleans Bingo! Show member Clint Maedgen, now a mainstay in the Preservation Hall band, croons his way through a soaring version of "There Is a Light."
And perhaps the best part of purchasing this album aside from, you know, listening to it? The proceeds from CD sales benefit Preservation Hall and The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, making this one an easy buy.
-- Chad Bower --
Preservation Hall Jazz Band w/ Tom Waits - "Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing"