The islands pubs, bars and music venues may be have been unseasonably quiet over this festive period, though that hasn’t stopped over fifty musicians from coming together to record a unique online performance of the Louis Jordan classic ‘Let the Good Times Roll’. Aired on ArtHouse Jersey’s Presents the piece has had over 14,000 views since it was uploaded on New Year’s Eve.
The project, conceived by guitarist and singer Paul Bisson and completed with assistance from audio producer JP Le Blond, is intended as a celebration of the island’s musical community, the majority of whom have been unable to perform this year as a result of restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic. ‘It’s been a long and regrettably silent year for the island’s musicians and lovers of live music,’ said Mr Bisson. ‘As well as missing the thrill of playing to a crowd many artists will have suffered financially as a result of being unable to perform. This project was intended as a way of bringing local musicians together to project a positive message of hope as we enter the new year. They’ll all be back on our stages soon.’
Work on the track began at the end of November, with vocalists recording their allocated lines at home and emailing them to Mr Bisson for inclusion. As well as singers, the track features a range of instrumentalists including multiple guitarists and a three piece brass section organised and arranged by local jazz musician Brian White. Except for the rhythm section, which was recorded by blues band Juke, all parts have been recorded separately and layered to provide the final track.
‘It’s been great fun to put together,’ said Mr Bisson. ‘My only regret is that we couldn’t feature more musicians. I’m immensely grateful to everyone that helped make this project a success, and would like to congratulate JP Le Blond on retaining his sanity after mixing together what was essentially a sackful of mobile phone recordings.’ Notable cameos in the video include musical campaigner Philip Le Claire, country artist Emily Fay and a solo featuring the ‘Violet the cow’ guitar with which local luthier Laura Poingdestre won the international Great Guitar Build off competition earlier in the year.
Let the Good Times Roll, which was first performed by Louis Jordan in 1946, is a well known blues standard and has been described as ‘a buoyant invitation to party.’ Watch now on ArtHouse Jersey Presents.