Rock & Soul Dance Party Superjam Featuring Jim James, John Oates, Zigaboo Modeliste, & Preservation Hall Jazz Band
General Info From Wikipedia - According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying." Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the soloist and the chorus, and an especially tense vocal sound. The style also occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls and auxiliary sounds.
The Superjam is a magical thing... legendary musicians get together late at night to perform a once in a lifetime set covering the music they love. The Superjam has featured musical legends like John Paul Jones, Dr. John, ?uestlove, Les Claypool, and Ben Harper. In the past, Bonnaroo has held the identities of the Superjam performers in secret, but have been announcing them ahead of time in recent years. Bonnaroo 2013 features two Superjam's... and the Rock & Soul Superjam will most likely be something very special.
Jim James Bonnaroo legend, singer extraordinaire, and front man for My Morning Jacket, Jim is much more than your average rock god. He recently released his (excellent) first solo album Regions of Light and Sound of God and will be performing it during his solo set at Bonnaroo this year. Don't miss that set for sure.
Although My Morning Jacket are best known for their raucous live rock & roll, Jim and the boys from Louisville are also known for performing interesting cover songs during their shows. It turns out that Jim loves soul music and isn't afraid to prove it. During their career My Morning Jacket has performed covers of Marvin Gaye, Prince, James Brown, Lionel Richie, Curtis Mayfield, and Bobby Womack. Jim's voice seems perfectly suited for singing this style of music and his energy brings it alive.
Here is a video of Jim performing one of my favorite neo-soul covers with Erykah Badu: Tyrone
Note: A comprehensive (and downloadable) inventory of MMJ covers is located here.
John Oates, one-half of the pop legends Hall & Oates, has been a fan of many styles of music. He started his career listening to and performing blues and folk music. Inspired by 60's musicians like Dave van Ronk and The Weavers, John has always enjoyed folk, soul, gospel, and just about every type of roots music genre.
Hall & Oates became one of the most popular groups in the 70's and 80's. The duo sported 10 number one hits during their career together and sold more than 80 million units. Despite the pop success they encountered, John's guitar and singing style stayed true his soul and funk influences.
John recently joined Jim James and My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks Amphitheater for a killer performance of the song Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield. I suspect they enjoyed playing together... likely leading them to agree to the Superjam gig.
"Ziggy" Modeliste may be the most influential drummer of our era, yet remains somewhat unknown by the mass public. Zigaboo played with the legendary New Orleans funk group The Meters. Throughout his career Ziggy has created unique and funky beats, many of which have been sampled by contemporary music artists including the Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, and Public Enemy.
Zigaboo's drumming style is totally unique, but you can hear his influence on modern drummers wherever you go. Questlove of the Roots has tweeted about Zigaboo's genius on multiple occasions, and you can hear his influence loud and clear on stage.
Here is Zigaboo demonstrating his prowess during a recent recording of The Meters classic Cissy Strut.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band (PHJB) was founded in 1961 in the great city and birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans. PHJB features a rotating group of performers, some which tour and others that perform only at the Preservation Hall. The touring group has performed all over the world for diverse audiences, passing on their musical heritage to new generations. PHJB plays classic New Orleans jazz, yet always leaving lots of room for group and individual improvisation. They may also be the best backing band in the world.
PHJB are Bonnaroo veterans, having performed there on many occasions. I first saw them perform in the Somethin' Else tent at Bonnaroo 2007 while trying to get out of the heat and into some A/C. I was smitten immediately. More recently, PHJB performed in the 2012 Superjam with Dr. John and Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys.
Here is a video of PHJB backing Dr. John on Big Chief from the same session.
What To Expect I would be lying if I did not expect this set to be epic. I have paid to see all four of these groups perform individually, and admit I am a fan of all of them. The blending of musical styles will be very interesting. Rock, pop, funk, and jazz influences will certainly emerge throughout the show, but I expect the music to revolve around classic 70's and 80's soul music. I've never seen Jim perform any of his funky covers live other than "Celebration" and "All Night Long" (2013 New Year show), so I am hoping he recreates some of the magic from MMJ's 2008 Bonnaroo set with versions Tyrone, Across 110th Street, and Cold Sweat.
I've been to the farm 6 times already and there is always a set that people talk about for years. This may be the one for 2013.
I leave you with one more video. Enjoy! I'll see you late night Saturday. Look for me on the rail.