With oil continuing to leak into the waters off the Gulf Coast, The Gulf Relief Foundation's fundraising efforts continue with the June 15 iTunes release of "Ain't My Fault." This musical collaboration features the GULF AID ALL-STARS: New Orleans' own Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trombone Shorty collaborating with Lenny Kravitz, Tim Robbins and Mos Def. The song--an updated version of a 1960s New Orleans Mardi Gras standard originally written by Joseph Smokey Johnson (who also recorded the track) and Wardell Joseph Quezergue--features updated lyrics by Mos Def and Preservation Hall's Ben Jaffe to reflect the current tragic situation's affects on the region.
"Ain't my Fault" is available NOW via iTunes as a single(99 cents)or video($1.99) with all proceeds being distributed by the Gulf Relief Foundation (GulfAid.org) to support organizations focused on wetlands/coastal environmental issues and the regional seafood industry.
The 2010 version of "Ain't My Fault" was recorded in an impromptu late-night session at Preservation Hall in New Orleans just days before the musicians performed at a May 16 GULF AID benefit concert there. Produced by Ben Jaffe and Bill Lynn, the historic benefit track makes use not only of the building's rich history, but some of the historic equipment still housed therein. Lenny Kravitz plays his guitar through Sweet Emma's amplifier while Mos Def sings through her megaphone, all the while trading licks with 78-year-old clarinetist Charlie Gabriel.
"Hip Hop is the New Orleans Jazz of this generation," Ben Jaffe says. "If this was 1910, Mos Def and Lenny would be doing the same thing with Jelly Roll Morton or Louis Armstrong."
Stephen Rehage--founder and producer of the Voodoo Experience and the producer of the GULF AID benefit concert--organized and executive produced "Ain't My Fault" as a way to continue the fundraising efforts.
"We had all these musicians together and wanted people outside of New Orleans to experience this great collaboration," Rehage says. "The song and video are another way for us to help raise funds and awareness of this ongoing tragedy."
With the Associated Press reporting "in the seven weeks since the oil rig explosion that set off the catastrophe..."(June 9, 2010) and the most recent estimates are between "42 million gallons to more than 100 million gallons of oil have already fouled the Gulf's delicate ecosystem," (June 11, 2010), fund raising efforts remain crucial as more than 120 miles of shoreline stretching from Louisiana to Florida have been affected.