Watch Steve Earle, Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Raucous ‘T’ain’t Nobody’s Business’Rolling Stone — Jedd Ferris
While in town to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at the end of April, Steve Earle joined Preservation Hall Jazz Band for an intimate late-night gig at the group’s namesake venue in the French Quarter for one of their annual Midnight Preserves shows. In a new video, the performers collaborate on a swinging version of “T’Aint Nobody’s Business,” a blues standard that’s been cut by Billie Holiday, B.B. King and Hank Williams, Jr.
While Earle heartily strums his acoustic guitar, he blends his Texas drawl with the funky rhythm of PHJB’s horn section. Earle and the group previously played the song at the latter’s 50th anniversary concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2012 and their performance was ultimately placed on the PHJB live record St. Peter & 57th St., released the same year.
Earle, who earlier this year released the Guy Clark tribute album Guy, has a well-documented love of New Orleans. He wrote the moving ballad “This City” about the resilience of the Big Easy following Hurricane Katrina for the soundtrack of the HBO drama Treme, in which he also starred. The Grammy-nominated song also appears on Earle’s 2011 album I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band have been hosting Midnight Preserves events during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for 15 years, with past guests including Jimmy Buffet, Elvis Costello and My Morning Jacket. This year the series also featured appearances by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra.