John “JoJo” Hermann’s love of New Orleans music has never been a secret. He has contributed spirited readings of Professor Longhair tunes (“Tipitina,” “Junco Partner”) to Widespread Panic’s repertoire, and he tours occasionally with his own Mardi Gras Band which pays homage to music by the Crescent City’s best. Hermann is also working to keep the music of New Orleans alive with his Down on the Bayou concerts, which benefit the New Olreans Musicians’ Clinic (NOMC and Assistance Foundation (NOMAF).
Down on the Bayou II: Live Jam from New Orleans documents the second installment of the benefit, capturing the funky, feel-good performance that took place on April 29, 2010 at the Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans and boasted appearances by over 60 musicians. Kicking off with the spirited “Stagger Lee,” the rotating cast – including New Orleans luminaries like George Porter Jr., John “Papa” Gros, and Russell Batiste, as well as out-of-towners like Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, and Luther Dickinson – sizzles like a beignet on a warm New Orleans morning. While this two-disc set consistently delivers, highlights include a fiery take on the Funky Meters’ “Hey Pocky Way” performed by Billy Iuso, Bo Dolliis Jr., Bo Dollis, Sr. and Porter; an ultra-swampy run-through of Dr. John’s “Walk on Guilded Splinters” by Widespread Panic with guests Max Abrams and Baba Akinwali Yuhdidiyuh; a fierce cover of Robert Johnson’s “32-20 Blues” by Gov’t Mule with Alfred "Uganda" Roberts; and an epic, set-closing jam on the Funky Meters ‘ “Love Slips Upon Ya,” featuring the Mardi Gras Band with Batiste, Dickinson and Carmalita Glospie.
Down on the Bayou II celebrates the musical legacy of New Orleans with unmatched reverence. The collaborations between hometown heroes and out-of-town enthusiasts are inspiring, giving new life to classic songs while working to ensure that the music will continue to thrive in the Big Easy. All proceeds from the sales of Down on the Bayou II benefit the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation and its Musician’s Clinic. You can purchase the album here.
Down on the Bayou II is available now through Livedownloads.com.