The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been around for 50 years, and this summer, they’ll finally release their first album of original music. That’s It! finds the legendary New Orleans collective linking up with Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who produced the album with PHJB’s Ben Jaffe.
Here you can catch the premiere of their track “Dear Lord (Give Me the Strength),” full of playful piano, cheerful brass and tuba player Ronell Johnson’s powerful vocals. It’s a joyful track, but one full of surprises; despite the sunny exterior, the song’s inspiration came from a dark place.
“When I heard ‘Dear Lord’ in my head, I saw a funeral parade like the ones my dad played at when I was growing up. It’s an incredibly sad day and everybody’s dancing and rejoicing. You have to grow up with it,” Jaffe tells Rolling Stone. “When Ronell starts singing, you can tell he’s been hearing this kind of music his whole life. This is the kind of song they’d be playing once they finished the dirge. Everybody would start dancing and rejoicing; it’s a celebration.”
That’s It! will be out July 9th on Legacy Recordings. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will play festivals throughout the summer, including Sasquatch in Washington on May 25th and Bonnaroo in Tennessee on June 14th–16th. For full tour dates, visit the band’s website.