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- Posted on Apr 25th 2010 12:00PM by Charley Rogulewski
A ticketless fan outside the venue said tickets for the event were selling for four digits. The original face value was $100, with all proceeds benefiting the vintage venue, erected at the turn of the 19th century as a Spanish saloon and which in 1961 became devoted to providing a space for New Orleans jazz musicians to perform.
"Music has ripped the painting off the walls," My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James said at one point in the evening, marveling at the opportunity to play the venue with the eight-member jazz ensemble that calls it home (and is currently touring with the band). The night was a potluck of music, with both groups bringing out the best in each other, flip-flopping between New Orleans staples, cover songs like the Curtis Mayfield closer 'Move On Up' and songs from MMJ's five-album repertoire.
The evening started off in NOLA style, with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band ripping through old-timey Bourbon Street shout-outs like Sweet Emma Barrett's 'I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jellyroll,' where a trombone or piano improvised when trumpet player Mark Braud stopped singing a verse. The band also plugged their new, guest-heavy benefit album 'Preservation,' inviting vocalist Amy LaVere to the old-school microphone for 'Baby Won't You Please Come Home.' James would get his turn a little later on two songs, including his contribution to the album, 'Louisiana Fairytale,' which he sang through a red antique bull horn.
The rest of My Morning Jacket would join soon afterward, starting their solo set in the approximately 100-capacity room with mellower crooners 'At Dawn,' 'Golden' and 'The Way That He Sings.' The latter was boosted by drummer Patrick Hallahan. The general intimacy of the event couldn't go unnoticed. Keyboardist Bo Koster was tucked away in the corner playing keys on an antique piano, while the rest of the band members filled up a tight performance space.
"Thanks for being so quiet," James told the crammed audience, which was either sitting on the floor, dancing on the creaking wooden floorboards, or standing on benches towards the back. Those who couldn't get in watched from the streets as the music bellowed through windows out into the back courtyard. MMJ played a total of seven songs before the Preservation Hall Jazz Band rejoined them for the final four of the evening -- performed inside, at least. Among them were two Mardi Gras favorites and songs any native New Orleaners knows by heart -- the Ernie K-Doe/Allen Toussaint collaboration 'Mother-in-Law' and the Al Johnson party anthem 'Carnival Time,' which Johnson appeared for.
"Usually we use modern digital technology, but that's not how we are doing it tonight," James said, urging the crowd to sing along on the revamped, brass-heavy 'Highly Suspicious' off MMJ's most recent album 'Evil Urges.' After ending things on a high note with Mayfield's 'Move On Up,' the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and select members of MMJ took to the narrow French Quarter streets in true New Orleans fashion, marching in a second line with any revelers that wanted to tag along. Two tubas belted out that iconic tune as musicians and fans moved through the street: "O when the saints go marching in / When the saints go marching in / Lord, how I want to be in that number ..." My Morning Jacket and the Preservation Jazz Hall Band let their fans do just that.
My Morning Jacket on AOL Music