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Song Stories

“Louisiana Fairytale”

Jim James and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band | 2010

My Morning Jacket singer Jim James sat in with these traditional New Orleans old-time jazz legends for a song on a benefit effort to support the group. First recorded by early jazz great Fats Waller, this version hews closer to that than anything written by MMJ. For authenticity, it was recorded at Preservation Hall's hallowed French Quarter home base, where fans can see the band nightly. "What a thrill," recalls James. "We did it old-school: all live with no electricity, and the garbage trucks even played along!"

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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