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Album Review: Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall

February 17, 2010

When I think of New Orleans, Mardi Gras is not the first thing that comes to mind–jazz music, beignets, and the Battle of New Orleans enter my mind long before Mardi Gras does. Does that make me odd? Perhaps a little, but I like it that way. But one of my favorite things about New Orleans, and perhaps America, is the historic and prolific Preservation Hall, an unpretentious music venue that charges $10, features music every night of the week, and has a great house band, simply named The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Aside from touring, the uber-talented Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been working with some of music’s biggest and most innovative names, including Tom Waits, Pete Seeger, Ani DiFrano, Merle Haggard, Andrew Bird, Jim James, and Louis Armstrong, to create Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall, which features Dixieland standards ranging from “La Vie en Rose” to “Old Rugged Cross” to “Tootie Ma is a Big Fine Thing.”

The outcome of the collaborations is an album so deeply infused with the essence of New Orleans that you’ll want to don your best Cajun accent and cook like Emeril. Or you’ll just speak some broken French and heat up some Uncle Ben’s.

Whichever you choose, Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall is well worth the $13.99 you’ll spend on iTunes AND the proceeds go to benefit the venue and it’s music outreach program. Honestly, how can you say no to that?

Note: Seeing as today is Mardi Gras I asked my classmates if anyone knew where I could get a King Cake…and none of them knew what I was talking about. Disappointed.

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