Playing For Change was formed in an effort to “connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.” PFC's video series Songs Around The World embodies this spirit by recording and filming musicians performing in their natural environments in an effort to “combine their talents and cultural power.” On April 20, Playing For Change will release Listen to the Music an album that featuring 12 new Songs Around The World selections recorded live outside via a mobile recording studio presenting over 200 musicians from 25 different countries, including Buddy Guy, The Doobie Brothers, Dr. John, Jack Johnson and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Today we are sharing a version of “All Along The Watchtower” from the album (which is now available for pre-order) that features Warren Haynes, Ivan Neville, Cyril Nevile, John Densmore, and Bombino. PFC co-founder and producer Mark Johnson, explains, “I remember having a daydream about the opening acoustic guitar part of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ ending with a Native American scream and a big native drum on the downbeat. That was the spark to assemble one of our biggest and deepest Songs Around The World. From Beirut to New Orleans to the Lakota Nation musicians played and sang like a musical army determined to stop suffering and greed all over the world. As a society, we need to get back to our roots and connect deeper with our ancestors and native people in general so we can find the wisdom we need to move forward as a human race. As Jimi Hendrix once said, “If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.”
Warren Haynes notes, “Playing For Change is proof that music transcends geography, race, age, culture and any other barriers which can be used to identify and separate people. Despite our all being in different corners of the world, everyone on the song participated in a beautiful conversation where we all spoke the same language. It was really powerful and extremely beautiful."
Ivan Neville recalls, "It was an honor & privilege to be a part of this amazing collaboration. And was especially gratifying to have taped my contribution in the historic Preservation Hall in my hometown of New Orleans, LA."
Finally, Cyril Neville, adds, "First, I’m a huge Dylan fan! “Watchtower” is one of my favorite songs, musically and lyrically! Then I heard the Hendrix version and it blew me away and that version became my all time favorite! So, it was an honor and a great pleasure to be invited to be a part of such a beautiful work of art!"