Freedom Song / Tears for the West (feat Jaz Coleman)
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“Levee Walkers” featuring Jaz Coleman
The Levee Walkers first met Jaz Coleman at the Classic Rock Awards in London in November of 2012, although we have been listening to his music for decades. We were seated at the same table and introduced by our fellow band mate Duff McKagan, and we immediately hit it off with a night of memorable conversation, which is how great collaborations usually begin. Jaz is of course the singer for the legendary British band Killing Joke, a band that was highly influential to Duff, myself, and our other band mate, Mike McCready, when we were young lads absorbing the hardest and edgiest music of the 1980s and 90s. Killing Joke represented what all of us wanted from a band – a conscious and powerful singer/lyricist, a ferocious musical delivery, and a sound that could not be imitated because it was so unique unto itself. Killing Joke embodies all of these qualities, hence their enormous influence on countless bands that came up in that era, and their ongoing relevance today. So there we sat, at a formal awards dinner, but rather than focusing on the award ceremony itself, Jaz and I became enraptured in our dialogue. We had both spent time living with indigenous communities around the world, we loved the Amazon Rainforest, we agreed that shamanic power was essential to all great music, and we shared a world view that the industrialized, capitalist agenda was destroying the environment, the global economy, and people. This is particularly true with indigenous, marginalized, and working class folks, which is the class we all grew up in. Thus, we agreed at that dinner table in London to record a couple songs together and see what we might conjure. And now you have it, the first two songs from The Levee Walkers, featuring Jaz Coleman on words and vocals. A Levee Walker, by the way, is a phantom that occasionally appears on the tops of levees in the deep American South, which is the mystical heartland of all American music. And like a levee walking phantom, this band will appear, disappear, and reappear again, as the musical inspiration suits us. Please enjoy this first offering.
-Barrett Martin, Seattle