A cast of musicians around the world have united virtually to cover Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" - and John Paul Jones, the band's original bassist, is a key contributor to the track.
The video, organized by the nonprofit Playing for Change, features more than a dozen musicians performing in several countries, creating a version of the track that reflects Zeppelin's original, powerful onslaught while adding local flavor and fire. Contributing musicians include Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, guitarist Sebastian Robertson (son of The Band co-founder Robbie Robertson), singer Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Congolese harmonica player Mermans Mosengo, indigenous New Zealand vocalist Mihirangi and more.
“It seems that little has changed since 1927, or even 2005 with Katrina," Jones said of the new recording. "It’s still a really powerful track, both musically and lyrically.”
A rework of a 1929 country blues track by Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie, written about the Great Mississippi Flood that occurred two years prior, Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" was the closer to their untitled fourth studio album, issued in 1971. John Bonham's distinctive opening drum break has become a cornerstone in hip-hop and dance sampling, featuring in tracks by Eminem, Dr. Dre, Beastie Boys, Beyoncé and others.