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Preservation Hall Jazz Band Performs Ballet Score at Lincoln Center This Wednesday

The ever prolific Preservation Hall Jazz Band are on a perpetual quest to bring New Orleans jazz to new places and faces.  This Wednesday August 3rd at NYC’s Lincoln Center, they will reunite with celebrated choreographer Trey McIntyre to perform the live score for two ballets: “Ma Maison” and “The Sweeter End.”  The two creative forces originally came together in 2008 for “Ma Maison,” commissioned by the New Orleans Ballet Association, and performed again last year at The Hollywood Bowl in LA..  Then earlier this year, they reunited to debut a companion piece to that ballet, titled “The Sweeter End.”  This Wednesday’s performance is free and begins at 7:30pm.

Another one of Pres Hall’s long-running collaboration has been with My Morning Jacket, the subject of which is documented in the film Louisiana Fairytale, directed by Danny Clinch.  The piece was shown at SXSW and Bonnaroo this past year and will have upcoming screenings at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (Aug 26 – 28th in Birmingham, AL) and at the New Orleans Film Festival (Oct 14 – 20th in New Orleans, LA).  Click HERE to watch the trailer.

Pres Hall’s most recent collaboration has been with Grammy-winning bluegrass icons, the Del McCoury Band, who they will perform with at this year’s Austin City Limits Festival September 17th at 7pm.  The two groups released a joint album earlier this year titled American Legacies, and have been performing together regularly including a spot on the Late Show With David Letterman.  Click HERE to watch their take on “I’ll Fly Away” for the show.

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band US Tour Dates:

8/2: Wellfleet, MA @ Wellfleet Preservation Hall
8/3: New York, NY @ Lincoln Center w/ Trey McIntyre Project
8/4: Gettysburg, PA @ The Majestic Theatre
8/5: Clayton, NY @ Clayton Opera House
8/13: Windsor, CT @ Summerwind Perf. Arts Center w/ The Del McCoury Band
8/20: Eagle, ID @ Eagle River Outdoor Pavillion w/ Trey McIntyre Project
9/2: Camp Mather, CA @ Strawberry Music Festival
9/3: Irvine, CA @ Great Park Summer Series
9/17: Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
9/22: Grinnell, IA @ Grinnell College Herrick Chapel
9/23: Des Moines, IA @ Drake University - Sheslow Auditorium
9/24: Grand Rapids, MI @  Calvin College
9/25: S. Milwaukee, WI @ South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
9/26: S. Milwaukee, WI @ South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
10/2: San Francisco, CA @ Hardly Strictly Bluegrass w/ The Del McCoury Band
10/15: Aurora, IL @ Aurora University - Crimi Auditorium
10/19: Easton, MD @ The Avalon Theatre
10/21: Florence, SC @ Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology
10/22: Athens, GA @ University of Georgia w/The Del McCoury Band
10/29: Plymouth, NH @ Plymouth State University - Silver Cultural Arts Center
11/5: Carmel, IN @ The Center for the Performing Arts
11/12: Davis, CA @ UC Davis - Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
11/13: Arroyo Grande, CA @ Clark Center for the Performing Arts
11/19: Shreveport, LA @ Highland Jazz & Blues Festival - Columbia Park

Delloween featuring Del McCoury Band, Keller Williams, and The Travelin' McCourys


Halloween: A time for costumes, sweet treats, trickery, AND quickly becoming a holiday known for hot music collaborations.  The Del McCoury Band and Keller Williams have a long history together as well as a history of cutting edge Halloween extravaganzas, so the progression to creating a Halloween event together seems only natural.  Delloween will close out the festival season with a 2 day, 2 city indoor festival on wheels with a loopless acoustic set from Keller Williams to start the night, followed by  a set with The Del McCoury Band, and ending with a special late night set featuring both The Travelin’ McCourys and Keller Williams!

The Del McCoury Band, Keller Williams, and The Travelin’ McCourys are festival veterans hitting just about every major festival in the country this summer and Del even has his own festival – DelFest, so that festival spirit will be the backbone of Delloween.  All the Delloween artists are known for pushing the boundaries of music; Williams debuted his Show For Kids this summer at several heavy hitting festivals (with music from his album KIDS) while The Del McCoury Band has been touring and playing in support of the American Legacies album with Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Travelin’ McCourys have been promoting the wildly successful Bluegrass Balls series. Delloween will follow suit with innovative sets that all but erase the boundaries of a regular theatre gig.

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Del McCoury Band

Led by a living bluegrass legend (whom The Washington Post hails a "national treasure") and featuring four immensely skilled musicians (including sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo, with Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on bass), The Del McCoury Band has rightfully received numerous accolades including more than three dozen International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, a Grammy, and multiple Grammy nominations.  This world-class ensemble performs original and traditional compositions with eloquent harmonies and "ferocious, purebred musicianship" (USA Today) that has earned them a wide range of fans, from their diverse group of "Del-Heads" to such respected musicians as Steve Earle, David Grisman and members of Phish and The String Cheese Incident.  In 2008, Del started his own music festival, and DelFest has quickly become one of the premiere music festivals on the east coast.  The band also regularly appears at some of the top festivals in the country including Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, Philadelphia Folk Fest, High Sierra, Grey Fox, and Austin City Limits Fest.

Keller Williams

Since he first appeared on the scene in the early ’90s, Keller Williams has defined the term independent artist. And his 16 recordings tell only half the story. Keller built his reputation initially on his engaging live performances, no two of which are ever alike. Williams’ solo live shows—and his ability to improvise to his determinedly quirky tunes despite the absence of an actual band—quickly became the stuff of legend, and his audience grew exponentially when word spread about this exciting, unpredictable performer. Today, whether performing as a one-man band (a stage show constructed around Keller singing his compositions and choice cover songs while accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar connected to a Gibson Echoplex delay system that allows him to simulate a full band), with a backing band (of which he has many - Keller and The Keels, Williams with Moseley, Droll and Sipe, Grunge Grass among others), or solo acoustic with simply he and his guitar, Keller always reveals himself as an artist of great stylistic breadth and infinite imagination. He is a singer, songwriter and musician, always on a quest for the new. Keller Williams has never followed the prescribed path laid out by the conventional music business but rather one of his own making. It’s a path that has served him well.

The Travelin’ McCourys

The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road—and online—entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music.

No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work—a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.

Del McCoury and Preservation Hall Release Joint Album Today!

Fans who have been streaming American Legacies, the unprecedented collaboration between bluegrass music’s legendary Del McCoury Band and New Orleans music giants, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, can finally snag a copy of the album for themselves today, April 12th, as the set is released in multiple configurations designed to appeal to casual listeners and dedicated followers alike.  The musical partners are also celebrating the event with the release of a new video that gives a sneak peek at the cross-genre blend on both a musical and personal level, with comments from Del McCoury, the PHJB’s Ben Jaffe and more, available at http://www.mccourymusic.com/americanlegacies.cfm, where the curious can still stream the project in its entirety as well as order it directly from the source.

The set—and the joint tour organized to bring its music to venues around the country—have already gotten plenty of attention for its remarkable blend of traditions. The twin legacies of bluegrass and jazz are combined in ways that underline their points of contact while preserving their distinctive characteristics, as horns blend with string band instruments to produce something at once refreshingly new and yet profoundly familiar, from the opening, tradition-based “The Band’s In Town” through the closing “One More ‘Fore I Die.”  And whether they’re tackling a decades-old standard or a new composition, the two groups bring fierce musicianship, deep respect and a rollicking good humor to the musical table in a way that makes the joy of the encounter unmistakable.

Known as one of the premiere ambassadors of bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band is fronted by veteran Del McCoury, who apprenticed in the honkytonks of Baltimore and with Bill Monroe before starting his own band more than 40 years ago.  A hero to east coast bluegrass audiences through the 1970s and 1980s, he stepped onto the national stage with a move to Nashville in the early 1990s that started the Del McCoury Band on an unprecedented streak of International Bluegrass Music Association awards and international acclaim.  Today, McCoury, along with a band that includes his sons Ron and Rob, are admired by hard-core bluegrass traditionalists and eclectic music fans and stars alike as they make appearances everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival to late night network TV shows to their own popular Delfest.  For millions of fans across the US and around the world, the Del McCoury Band is simply the face of bluegrass.

Founded just a few years before McCoury joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying the distinctive sound of New Orleans jazz around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city’s musical legacy.  With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music’s historic traditions, the PHJB has served as an irreplaceable, vital link to the earliest days of one of America’s most beloved forms of popular music, evoking the spirits of times past in an ever-evolving modern context that has found them traveling around the world.

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Del McCoury/Preservation Hall Tour Dates:

April 13 - St. Charles, MO @ Family Arena
April 14 - Lawrence, KS @ University of Kansas- Leid Center
April 15 - Appleton, WI @ Fox Cities PAC
April 16 - Naperville, IL @ Pfeiffer Hall
April 17 - Fayetteville, AR @ Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
April 19 - Wilmington, NC @ The Sarah Graham Kenan Memorial
May 12 - Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA- Royce Hall
May 27 - DelFest, Cumberland, MD
June 10 - Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
July 7 - Winnipeg Folk Fest
August 6 - Edmonton Folk Fest

Del McCoury and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band Celebrate Mardi Gras

In honor of Mardi Gras this week, Bluegrass Legend Del McCoury and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band have shared the song “One More ‘Fore I Die” off their upcoming collaborative album, American Legacies (out April 12th).  Click HERE to stream/download the track, which premiered at NPR yesterday.  The two also filled the historic Preservation Hall yesterday for a special performance on Lundi Gras Day. Today they will team up again for the Preservation Hall Parade that occurs annually on Mardi Gras.  The parade will gather on the corner of Dauphine and Frenchmen Streets and will commence at 2:00pm.  The parade route will conclude at Preservation Hall.

Del and the PHJB will also celebrate the advance release of a special Mardi Gras themed vinyl edition of American Legacies. Manufactured exclusively for Record Store Day (April 16) 2011, this special edition vinyl is green on one side and gold on the other, featuring a purple label.  Limited to 1000 copies, a small number have been made available for sale exclusively at Preservation Hall during this very special event.

About American Legacies:

American music fans have an unprecedented opportunity to hear two masterful groups explore the common ground where bluegrass and jazz meet when the Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band release their collaborative American Legacies project on April 12th via McCoury Music and Preservation Hall Recordings.  Inspired by the success of the Del McCoury’s participation on 2010’s PRESERVATION, a PHJB project made with multiple artists to benefit New Orleans’ unique Preservation Hall venue and its Music Outreach Program, the set offers a dozen songs filled with deep respect and joyful virtuosity.  Complementing the release, the two groups have announced a joint tour that will feature them performing on their own and together in a groundbreaking concert experience.

American Legaciesis a no-holds-barred tour of songs and sounds that sum up the simultaneous (and often intersecting) histories of two distinctively American musical forms—the jazz that has drawn music lovers from around the world to New Orleans for more than a century, and the “hillbilly jazz” of bluegrass, created more than 60 years ago by Del McCoury’s one-time employer, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys.

Available Everywhere on April 12, 2011

Del/PHJB Tour Dates:

March 19 - Boston, MA
March 27 - Columbus, GA
April 9 - Tucson, AZ
April 13 - St. Charles, MO
April 14 - Lawrence, KS
April 15 - Appleton, WI
April 16 - Napierville, IL
April 17 - Fayetteville, AR
April 19 - Wilmington, NC
May 12 - Los Angeles, CA
May 27 - DelFest, Cumberland, MD
June 10 - Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
July 7 - Winnipeg Folk Fest
August 6 - Edmonton Folk Fest

The Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band Release Joint Album

American music fans have an unprecedented opportunity to hear two masterful groups explore the common ground where bluegrass and jazz meet when the Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band release their collaborative American Legacies project on April 12th via McCoury Music and Preservation Hall Recordings.  Inspired by the success of the Del McCoury’s participation on 2010’s PRESERVATION, a PHJB project made with multiple artists to benefit New Orleans’ unique Preservation Hall venue and its Music Outreach Program, the set offers a dozen songs filled with deep respect and joyful virtuosity.  Complementing the release, the two groups have announced a joint tour that will feature them performing on their own and together in a groundbreaking concert experience.

With common roots in the rich musical gumbo of the American south in the 19th and early 20th centuries, bluegrass and jazz have sat alongside one another with a myriad of common influences and musical vocabularies that have nevertheless remained largely unexplored until now. American Legaciesis a no-holds-barred tour of songs and sounds that sum up the simultaneous (and often intersecting) histories of two distinctively American musical forms—the jazz that has drawn music lovers from around the world to New Orleans for more than a century, and the “hillbilly jazz” of bluegrass, created more than 60 years ago by Del McCoury’s one-time employer, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys.

Known as one of the premiere ambassadors of bluegrass, the Del McCoury Band is fronted by veteran Del McCoury,  A hero to east coast bluegrass audiences through the 1970s and 1980s, he stepped onto the national stage with a move to Nashville in the early 1990s that started the Del McCoury Band on an unprecedented streak of International Bluegrass Music Association awards and international acclaim.  Today, McCoury, along with a band that includes his sons Ron and Rob, are admired by hard-core bluegrass traditionalists and eclectic music fans and stars alike as they make appearances everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival to late night network TV shows to their own popular Delfest.  For millions of fans across the US and around the world, the Del McCoury Band is simply the face of bluegrass.

Founded just a few years before McCoury joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying the distinctive sound of New Orleans jazz around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city’s musical legacy.  With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music’s historic traditions, the PHJB has served as an irreplaceable, vital link to the earliest days of one of America’s most beloved forms of popular music, evoking the spirits of times past in an ever-evolving modern context that has found them traveling around the world.

Del-Lords' first three albums reissued on American Beat/Collectors' Choice

In New York in the mid-‘80s, four veteran New York musicians united to form the Del-Lords: Scott Kempner from the Dictators, Eric Ambel from Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, future Cracker drummer Frank Funaro and thundering bassist Manny Caiati. Key songwriter Kempner said his vision “was to create a band that would feature four singers performing my songs — an East Coast Beach Boys if you will.” But rather than singing about girls and cars, the Del-Lords sang about things that mattered to them: the everyday grind of life and how it affected the band and those around them.

The Del-Lords recorded three albums that broke no sales records but helped start an American rock ’n’ roll rebirth — and helped sire the Americana movement as well. And now, after a long absence from the marketplace, the first three long-players — Frontier Days, Johnny Comes Marching Home and Based on a True Story — will be reissued on CD by American Beat Records through Collectors’ Choice Music, on May 26, 2009. Their last two albums, Lovers Who Wander and Howlin’ at the Halloween Moon, will come out later this year.

• Frontier Days: The band’s 1984 debut album showed the Del-Lords could rock as hard as the meanest punk bands of the day but also kept an ear toward the melody of the songs. Rolling Stone awarded the album four stars and Robert Christgau in the Village Voice graded it A–, his only complaint that production by Lou Whitney (Skeletons, Morells) wasn’t commercial enough to get radio airplay. And Trouser Press exclaimed, “The Del-Lords embrace rock’s basic components with such skill and verve that they outshine everyone else on the scene.” A promising start. Songs include “Burning in the Flame of Love,” ”Get Tough” and six others from the original LP, plus five never-before-heard bonus tracks and new liner notes from Kempner. First time on CD!

• Johnny Comes Marching Home: For their second album, the band switched to an unlikely producer with a proven track record for rock radio hits, Neil Geraldo (Pat Benatar’s guitarist/producer/husband.) The gamble paid off. Johnny retains the drive and grit of the first album yet the sound is brighter and more engaging. Also aiding the cause was two years of road miles under their belts when they went into the studio. The signature Link Wray echo and rockabilly swagger is still there, kicked into a new gear. Included are the songs “Heaven,” “Love Lies Dying,” “Saint Jake.” “No Waitress No More” and six others. In addition, five previously unreleased tracks are included. Another CD debut!

• Based on a True Story: This 1988 album marked the first time in the band’s career that they went into the studio with a full team in place, Geraldo returning to the producer’s chair, in a pedal-to-the-metal, show-me-what-you-got affair. This time the band had help from a few guest vocalists — Syd Straw, Mojo Nixon, Kim Shattuck (The Pandoras) and, yes, Pat Benatar. True to their guns, the band turned down a lucrative beer company sponsorship, preferring to remain a no-nonsense working man’s rock ’n’ roll band at its peak. This album was released on CD, but due to a label shakeup not many copies found their way into stores. The album contains their biggest hit, “Judas Kiss,” as well as “The Cool and the Crazy,” “Crawl in Bed,” “Cheyenne” and six others, plus, you guessed it, five previously unreleased bonus tracks. Kempner again wrote liner notes for the reissue.

Looking back a quarter of a century to the band formation, Kempner explains: “The Del-Lords were conceived as Holy Sacrament: two guitars, bass & drums, four lead singers, just the way we figured El Hombre Grande wanted it. F--- not with what is essentially perfect! However, the reverence ended there and we were more in tune with John Lennon's assessment: ‘the blues ain't a painting to look at and admire, it's a chair to sit in and use.’ They called it ‘roots-rock’ or ‘cowpunk,’ we called it rock 'n' roll. The good kind. It was firmly rooted in the great artists who came before but, we were burdened in soul and of mind with a very bad attitude. We stomped all over the blues, country, rock 'n' roll, of all kinds and twisted it into something uniquely of us. I mean, I'm a Jew from the South F---n' Bronx! Who am I kidding?

“Now, 25 years after the fact the landscape is grim once again,” he adds. “Just like 1984. Rock 'n' roll where art thou? It seems to me it's the same folks playin’ it now that was playin’ it then. Blessed are the faithful. These records we made back then sound awful good to me right now. A mighty noise. They sound necessary again. Rock'n'roll gives what it gets. Remember that! It's not a painting, it's a f---in' chair!”