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What’s Going On

17 August 2006 No Comment

In recognition of the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf coast, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will release a meaningful reinterpretation of the Marvin Gaye classic What’s Going On. Thirty-five years after its original release, the evocative themes and social commentary found in the songs on What’s Going On are just as relevant today. Guest vocalists Chuck D, Ivan Neville, G. Love, Guru and Bettye LaVette contribute to The Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s musical message. In stores August 29th, Shout! Factory and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each copy of What’s Going On to the Tipitina’s Foundation, benefiting the music community of New Orleans.

Just one year ago, Hurricane Katrina shattered the homes and lives of the residents of New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, including the members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many of their friends and neighbors. Founding members Roger Lewis, Kevin Harris and Gregory Davis’ homes were completely destroyed by the storm and the flooding aftermath, as was the home of trombone player Revert Andrews. Band members Terence Higgins and Efrem Towns’ homes remained standing, enduring massive wind and water damage.

When discussing their next step musically, the members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band unanimously concluded that they needed an outlet for the overwhelming feelings of loss for their beautiful city and community, and frustration with the government’s response to the disaster, or lack thereof. Members of the band had been listening to What’s Going On, and finding that the strong sentiments Gaye expressed 35 years ago were again resonating loud and clear. Reinterpreting each of the nine songs on Gaye’s album was simply the right concept at the right time. While Gaye’s original was smooth rhythm and blues, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band turn in expansive, powerhouse instrumental performances. The resulting album is sexy and explosive.

For the past three decades, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band has taken the traditional brass band music of New Orleans, combined it with funk, jazz, gospel and soul, and introduced it to the rest of the world. Over the years, they’ve won the approval of fans, critics, and the taste-making musicians they’ve collaborated with including Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Widespread Panic and Modest Mouse.

“What’s Going On” (feat. Chuck D) Audio Streams:



(Windows Media)


Official Site:


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