John Paul Jones has enlisted a crew of musicians to re-record Led Zeppelin‘s 1971 song “When The Levee Breaks”, including Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Stephen Perkins, Ben Lee, Elle Márjá Eira, Keith Secola, Mihirangi, and many more.
The new track arrives as part of Playing For Change‘s Song Around the World campaign and hears Jones collaborate with an eclectic cast of musical artists pulled from all corners of the globe. Produced by Mark Johnson and Sebastian Robertson—who also offers his services on guitar throughout the song—the new video will raise funds for the Peace Through Music charity partners like Conservation International, American Rivers, World Wildlife Foundation, Reverb, and the Playing For Change Foundation.
The videographers capture each of the 17 musical acts performing the song from various locations throughout the world, including the U.S., Norway, Nigeria, New Zealand, England, Congo, and Argentina. Originally written by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie following the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Zeppelin would later include the cover on its 1971 album Led Zeppelin IV. This version recorded for Peace Through music takes on new life with a plethora of unique instrumentation. It includes dundun drums from Nakeiltha Campbell and Davey Chegwidden, a talking drum from Sikiru Adepoju, harmonica from Mermans Mosengo and Ben Lee, a siku flute from Alfredo Arce, vocals from Tedeschi, Mihirangi, and Eiram, and of course, a variety of guitars and other stringed instruments. Also credited on the track are Drums of the Pacific, Buffalo Nichols, Jason Tamba, and Pete Sands.
“Looking at ‘When The Levee Breaks’ through the lens of producing a song to raise awareness for key environmental organizations truly felt like a plea for climate justice,” Sebastian Robertson tells Rolling Stone. “The wailing guitars, harmonica, and vocals all in harmony for Mother Earth.”
“It’s such an epic and powerful song both lyrically and musically,” Johnson adds, “and you feel the conviction and perseverance that the world needs to face these climate challenges together as a human race.”
Watch John Paul Jones and his crew of musicians perform “When The Levee Breaks” via the video player below and head here to donate.
John Paul Jones – “When The Levee Breaks” – Playing For Change
[H/T Rolling Stone]