Album Review — The 30th Annual John Lennon Tribute

John House / November 17, 2011

It is almost time for the 31st Annual John Lennon Tribute Concert and last year’s 30th Annual Concert recording has just been released November 15, 2011. The concert took place at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, November 12, 2010. The yearly show has featured many great moments and last year’s show was no different.  Artists cover Lennon/McCartney songs or songs from John’s solo catalog. Highlights this year included Jackson Browne, Pati Smith, Keb ‘Mo,’ Taj Mahal, and the Playing for Change Band among others. Proceeds from the 15-track digital album will benefit the Japanese Red Cross’ earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

There are some incredible moments on the album. The artists seem to take great patience in highlighting John’s lyrics and give a wide assortment of his material.  Their are a couple of tracks that are mildly disappointing from a mix standpoint but overall it is awesome.  Some of the re-worked Lennon performances that really stood out were “Mother” by Shelby Lynne, “Working Class Hero” by Martin Sexton, and “The Word” by Betty LaVette.  Some of the more traditional arrangements also had some spectacular performances and they include “Power to the People” by Rich Pagano and You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away by Jackson Browne.

Overall this album is a must have for fans of Lennon, not to mention it is for a great cause and one that honors John.