“Lockdown Blues”: no doubt we’ve all experienced it in some form or another in these last few months. While the COVID-19 outbreak upended much of the industry, many artists have used this time to contribute creative pursuits – from live-streamed living room concerts, Zoom-based music videos, or – in the case of the legendary fusion guitarist John McLaughlin, to get the band back together and release a new single.
Under the backdrop of the outbreak, McLaughlin reconvened his 4th Dimension band – Gary Husband (keyboards), Etienne M’Bappe (bass), and Ranjit Barot (drums, konnakol) – through the wonders of technology to record “Lockdown Blues,” which is the group’s first new studio recording in five years. Beamed from across the world in locations as far-flung as Monaco, London, Paris, and Mumbai, the band sounds no less tight and connected by McLaughlin’s new composition, propelled by an urgency in the rhythm section and head-spinning melodic lines from McLaughlin and Husband.
And if a new single from this incredible group weren’t enough, all the proceeds will go to the Jazz Foundation of America. “The pandemic has thrown hundreds of thousands of musicians out of work,” McLaughlin said in a statement, “and nobody knows how long.” In the wake of these difficult times, the Foundation established a COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund to help musicians and their families cover living expenses.
“As a band, we’ve been together so long we’re family,” McLaughlin says in the press release for the new single. “But in fact we go further back: Humanity is the only family, and we believe the only way humanity will survive is if we care enough for each other. We hope that whoever sees or hears this will care also. So if you donate something — even something really small — thank you.”
To download “Lockdown Blues” and support the fund with any amount you wish, you can visit the Abstract Logix Bandcamp page. The Jazz Foundation of America is also accepting direct donations should you choose to contribute.
John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension, Lockdown Blues (Abstract Logix digital single, 2020) (Bandcamp)
- Lockdown Blues