Watch John Paul Jones Join Ex-R.E.M. Members to Cover Led Zeppelin’s ‘When the Levee Breaks’
John Paul Jones may not come from the land of the ice and snow, but he traveled there to take part in a Norwegian music festival with former members of R.E.M. and help deliver a set that included a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic "When the Levee Breaks."
That performance, which you can watch above, took place at the self-described "mini festival" known as Ice Station and held in the Norwegian town of Vadsø. Aside from Jones, this year's roster of performers included R.E.M. vets Peter Buck and Mike Mills, who joined their Baseball Project cohorts Linda Pitmon, Scott McCaughey (a utility player for R.E.M. and Buck's bandmate in the Minus 5) and Steve Wynn (ex-Dream Syndicate).
The festival was covered by the Times U.K., whose Mark Ellen described "a loose and sprawling four-hour affair" concluding with a wild-sounding set that included everything from R.E.M. and Zeppelin to indigenous folk songs, a Lou Reed cover, and an acoustic take on the Destiny's Child hit "Survivor" that featured Jones "shredding his mandolin." While footage of that particular moment has unfortunately yet to surface, more of the show can be streamed below.
Jones, who wrote the string arrangements for R.E.M.'s 1992 album Automatic for the People, has a tendency to show up on some unexpected stages — as he did when he toured Norway with the improvisational band Supersilent in 2012 — and has shown a willingness to sit in with an eclectic array of artists in recent years, lending live support to a list of acts that includes Seasick Steve and Robyn Hitchcock. In September, Jones joined Queen drummer Roger Taylor during a Foo Fighters show to cover "Under Pressure."
On the recording front, Jones' activity has unfortunately been extremely sporadic since Led Zeppelin's breakup, but his solo albums Zooma and The Thunderthief remain well worth checking out — and there remains the possibility of a new release from Them Crooked Vultures, his trio project with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme.
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