My Morning Jacket performed an extremely intimate benefit for Preservation Hall. The $100 ticketed performance took place at the legendary jazz club last night and kicked off shortly after midnight Sunday morning. Though the venue’s capacity is listed in the double digits, approximately 200 fans crammed into the club to catch the set. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a group that has been on the road with My Morning Jacket for the last week, kicked off the night with a show as part of its 6th annual Midnight Preserves Series.
Near the end of Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s set, singer Amy LaVere joined the ensemble for her contribution to the new Preserved benefit album, “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home.” My Morning Jacket’s Jim James emerged next for his two contributions to the same benefit album, “Louisiana Fairytale” and “St. James Infirmary.” James sang through an old fashion bullhorn on both songs—the same bullhorn he used to record on the album. The rest of My Morning Jacket later joined James and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a short, traditional New Orleans jam.
The jam led into My Morning Jacket’s second performance of the day (the group also played the Fairgrounds at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.). The members of the group played almost completely acoustic, with the exception of bassist Two-Tone Tommy who plugged in the so the audience could hear him. The group focused mostly on its early, more roots-oriented songs, including a set-opening “At Dawn,” “Golden,” “The Way That He Sings,” “Knot Comes Loose,” “Wonderful (The Way I Feel),” “Dondante” and “Smokin From Shootin.” James also told a humorous story about a strange dream he had before recoding his tracks at Preservation Hall where he foresaw the bullhorn he later used during the recordings. He also described the venue as “hallowed ground”—the same description he used when describing Radio City Music Hall—and admitted that New Orleans believes in spirits in a may no other city does these days. The members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band returned at the end of the night to sit in with MMJ on Allen Toussaint’s “Mother in Law,” “Highly Suspicious,” Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.”
Al Johnson also joined the groups onstage for his own composition. He also joined the groups onstage at the Fairgrounds earlier in the day.