Last night at New York’s Carnegie Hall, City Winery hosted their 15th annual “Music Of” benefit, this time honoring the music of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, with renditions of the group’s compositions from artists like moe., Bustle in Your Hedgerow, Nicole Atkins, Living Colour and many more.
City Winery’s Michael Dorf opened the evening with his introduction, quoting Jack Black’s speech at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors in which the actor proclaimed Zep “The Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band of All Time” and said that they wrote songs about “making love, vikings and vikings making love.” Dorf also noted that Zeppelin themselves played Carnegie Hall just once in 1969.
The first music came from Holly Bowling and Tom Hamilton—introduced, as all acts were, by a voiceover from WFUV’s Rita Houston—who played a stripped-down but energetic “No Quarter.” The house band, led by bassist Tony Shanahan and featuring guitarists Andy York and Jackie Greene, keyboardist Andy Burton and drummer Dennis Diken, was then introduced and immediately backed up Matthew Sweet for “Dancing Days.”
Joseph Arthur then lead a rousing “Ramble On,” followed by Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom on “When the Levee Breaks.” The powerful Deva Mahal then teamed up with Dap-Kings guitarist Binky Griptite and the house band for “Your Time Is Gonna Come,” dedicated by Mahal to those who benefit from oppression. Ayron Jones then emerged for a soulful and electric “Since I’ve Been Loving You.”
Shannon Conley of all-female tribute act Lez Zeppelin then lead the house band and the Ton Orchestra on “Kashmir,” before Bustle in Your Hedgerow, featuring Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger and Dave Dreiwitz, began the non-house-band portion of the evening with a boisterous instrumental “We’re Gonna Groove,” The quartet then backed up their friend Nicole Atkins on a slow-burn “The Rain Song.”
moe. then took over for a bouncy “Hey Hey What Can I Do” before rock duo The London Souls came out for the bluesy “Bring It On Home.” Two original member of ’60s UK icons The Zombies, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, performed a stripped-down, piano-led version of “Thank You,” dedicated to their late Zombies bandmate, bassist Jim Rodford, who passed away earlier this year.
O.A.R. played their own rendition of “Fool In the Rain,” a staple of the band’s repertoire, before Bettye LaVette countered with “All My Love,” which, as Rita Houston noted, was so liked by Robert Plant that he invited her out on tour. Guitarist and singer Son Little then ran through “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.”
Dinosaur Jr.‘s J Mascis kicked off the final stretch of the evening, delivering a version of “Tangerine” full of roaring guitar solos, then Jackie Greene led his house band on a raucous “The Lemon Song”(see a fan-shot video of the song below). Patty Smyth took over vocal duties for “Whole Lotta Love,” and Living Colour provided the night’s final act performance with a ripping “Rock & Roll.” Most of the night’s contributors then gathered on he stage for the finale of “Good Times, Bad Times.”