#PlayingForChange: Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones Recreates “When the Levee Breaks” with Global Ensemble


Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

An ensemble of 17 musicians from various countries around the world recently joined forces with Led Zeppelin bassist/multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones for a special recording of “When The Levee Breaks,” the classic blues track that was reinterpreted by Zeppelin on Led Zeppelin IV in 1971.

The collaborative effort is part of Playing for Change’s Song Around the World initiative, and proceeds from the track will benefit Peace Through Music, including Conservation International, American Rivers, WWF, Reverb and the Playing For Change Foundation.

Here’s the video for their collaboration:

And some information about the project, via the video’s description:

“When The Levee Breaks” is a powerful, thought-provoking and emotionally-charged classic by Led Zeppelin, from their Led Zeppelin IV album. The song is a rework of the 1929 original release by Kansas Joe Mccoy and Memphis Minnie about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927; the most destructive river flooding in U.S. history.

“It seems that little has changed since 1927, or even 2005 with Katrina. It’s still a really powerful track, both musically and lyrically.”- John Paul Jones

Legendary multi-instrumentalist, John Paul Jones, is accompanied by Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and over 20 musicians and dancers from seven different countries, in this Song Around The World version featured in Peace Through Music: A Global Event for the Environment.

Feel the impact of these compelling lyrics and let the music move your spirit!

Credits for the recording:

Alfredo Arce: Siku Flute
Ben Lee: Harmonica
Buffalo Nichols: Vocals, Guitar
Davey Chegwidden: Dundun Drums
Derek Trucks: Slide Guitar
Drums of the Pacific: Dancing, Log Drums
Elle Márjá Eira: Vocals
Jason Tamba: Banjo
John Paul Jones: Bass
Keith Secola: Slide Guitar
Mermans Mosengo: Harmonica
Mihirangi: Vocals
Nakeiltha Campbell: Dundun Drums
Pete Sands: Acoustic Guitar
Sebastian Robertson: Electric Guitar
Sikiru Adepoju: Talking Drum
Susan Tedeschi: Vocals
Stephen Perkins: Drums

Here’s the original blues version, which was first written and recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie following the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

Previous noteworthy entries to Playing for Change’s Song Around the World initiative include 2019’s “The Weight,” spearheaded by The Band’s Robbie Robertson:

And The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” featuring Taj Mahal and a global ensemble:



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