George Porter Jr. and Ivan Neville led an all-star New Orleans funk brigade at the Howlin’ Wolf, serving as a sequel to last fall’s emergency replacement show after John Mayer’s medical emergency canceled a highly anticipated Dead & Company gig. Last year’s show sold out in an instant and gave fans who had traveled from far and wide a wonderful consolation prize. Luckily, the sheer amount of talented musicians that call the Crescent City their home makes last-second shows not only possible but likely to be as good or even better than the ones they replace. On the eve of the make-up Dead & Co show on Saturday, the folks behind the replacement party last year decided to do it all again, with a far nobler reason this time around.

The promoters wanted to give both residents and early-arriving show-bound visitors a fun warm-up performance while raising money for a truly worthy cause: The New Orleans Musicians Clinic. Many New Orleans musicians are self-employed and working insanely hard for every penny they make. Having a low-cost health care option is crucial to keeping the music playing. At the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, the non-profit charges sliding-scale fees, and a cadre of hard-working medical professionals give their time to healing the bodies of those whose creations heal the hearts and souls of their fans. The funds raised at this show, through ticket sales and donations, were a much-needed help to the organization and gave the whole evening a well-received extra meaning. You can donate to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic here.

The host of the evening, Jammin On, showed off some of their latest officially licensed Grateful Dead apparel with a head-turning fashion show that featured models and musicians walking the runway in a wide variety of psychedelic tye-dye and print designs. These weren’t any shoddy garments you would find out in the lot before a show. All the clothes were made from the finest fabrics and materials, in some cases even from remnants of the original Jerry Garcia necktie line. Showing off his wares, Ben Jammin himself took time to thank his lovely wife and co-designer, as well as all the models, musicians, and the audience for making his dream come true with such a successful evening. See a whole gallery of his designs in the gallery at the bottom of the article.

After the runway was cleared, it was time to do what New Orleans does best—get funky! The wrecking crew of top musical talent assembled included the aforementioned George Porter Jr. and Ivan Neville, as well as Papa Mali, Ian NevilleDJ LogicBarry SlessKris RoyalTerrence HoustonTerence Higgins, and a number of other special guests, including in a sit-in from Dead & Co and Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge. Playing to their strengths as well as the crowd, Porter led the band through classics from his own legendary band The Meters as well as classics from the city and an assortment of Dead tunes. Our own videographer Rex-A-Vision was on hand and has put together over an hour’s worth of show highlights together for you below. Check ’em out!


“Eyes Of The World”

“Fire On The Mountain”

“Iko Iko” > “Nawlins Medley”

“Midnight Hour”

When the stars align and people can come together to not just make merry but to help the world at the same time, it is a joy to behold. Last Friday night at the Howlin’ Wolf was more than just a feast for the eyes. There was music in the air, and love in the hearts of all in attendance. The world needs more nights like this, but for now, we should all just be happy we had the one we did.