Just in time for Earth Day, Brushfire Records will release Jack Johnson and Friends - Best
of Kokua Festival on April 17th. The album features a 13-track compilation of live performances from Jack Johnson’s benefit concert for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. In support of the release, Johnson will also tour the Hawaiian Islands for an intimate seven-date all acoustic tour.
Proceeds from Jack Johnson and Friends- Best of Kokua Festival and the tour will benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. Culled from six years of his eco-minded music festival, Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival, highlights onstage collaborations with legendary musicians like Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Mathews, Ziggy and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and more.
Johnson and his band team up with more than a dozen guest artists to perform both original works and spirited covers of classic songs. The album features several of Johnson’s breezy folk-rock gems, including “Constellations” (with Eddie Vedder), “Mudfootball” (with Ozomatli & G. Love), “Breakdown” (with ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro), and “Better Together” (with Hawaiian singer Paula Fuga). Elsewhere on Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival, Johnson joins his guests for stripped-down renditions of their own songs: Taj Mahal offers his bluesy “Further On Down The Road,” Jackson Browne revisits “Take It Easy” with the help of singer/guitarist John Cruz (who also shares his Hawaiian anthem “Island Style”), and the Marley brothers bring the reggae with Ziggy’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” and Damian’s dancehall banger “Welcome to Jamrock.”
Rounding out the record are an eclectic collection of covers, including Bob Marley’s “High Tide or Low Tide” (featuring Ben Harper), Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” (featuring Eddie Vedder) and Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at Forty” (featuring Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds). Willie Nelson, meanwhile, delivers a Harper-assisted take on “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” the Fred Rose-penned classic he popularized. Held on Earth Day weekend at Honolulu’s Waikiki Shell since its inception in 2004, the Kokua Festival serves as both a community-centered celebration of music and environmental awareness and as the major fundraiser for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation (a nonprofit organization founded by Johnson and his wife Kim in 2003 to support environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii). Like the festival itself, Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival spotlights artists who share the Kokua Hawaii Foundation’s mission of protecting the planet and cultivating environmental consciousness. Not only a showcase for live music, the Kokua Festival offers a major educational component. A clearinghouse of over fifty eco-friendly businesses and local environmental groups interact with fans in the Kokua Village, which features sustainable products, alternative-energy demonstrations, local food and 0beverages, and activities for kids.
Jack Johnson and Friends - Best of Kokua Festival is Johnson’s follow-up to his fifth studio album To The Sea, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart when it was released in June 2010. After the album’s release, Johnson will head out with John Cruz and Paula Fuga for a seven-date, all-acoustic tour of Hawaii:
April 19th Kauai Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center
April 21st and 22nd Oahu Hawaii Theatre
April 25th and 26th Maui Castle Theatre
April 28th and 29th Big Island Kahilu Theatre
Jack Johnson in a Seven-Mile-Miracle-backyard-Christmas-song kanikapila with two of my favorite Hawaiian music artists of all time. Shot by Dave Homcy, who is featured in The New Vintage and will be participating in the 3rd Annual Anti Canvas. Brushfire Records just released This Warm December today, which is a Holiday album featuring Jack, Zach Gill, Rogue Wave, G. Love, Bahams, Neil Halstead, Zee Avi, A.L.O., Money Mark, Paula Fuga and Mark Costa.