Deacon John Moore, the venerated New Orleans rhythm & blues musician and bandleader, is today (May 20) premiering his latest recording and video. Taking on “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Australian-New Zealand rock band Crowded House, Moore’s latest offering is a distinctly New Orleans take on an unexpected record.
Moore’s cover of Crowded House is part of a project he and his producer, Cyril Vetter, are calling Crowded Shotgun House. The New Orleans influence is undeniable, both in sound and title. Featured on “Don’t Dream It’s Over” are New Orleans musicians Herlin Riley, Charles Moore, Craig Adams and the Craig Adams Singers along with guitarists Will Kimbrough and Clay Coleman. Plus, the song was also recorded and mixed here, by David Farrell.
Vetter tells OffBeat.com that “Deacon’s buoyant personality transforms ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ into a singular slice of NOLA pop, rock, gospel and soul,” an example of the musical versatility Moore has showcased throughout his more than 50-year career.
For Moore, the record represents an opportunity for collective escapism. “I think of this performance as a feel-good moment for some very unpredictable times,” he says. “No walls between us!” Furthermore, as a fan of the songbook of Crowded House founding member Neil Finn, Moore “relished the challenge to do a little something out of my comfort zone.”
In addition to the release of “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and its B-side, a cover of Crowded House’s “Something So Strong,” Moore is a newly minted Doctor. At Loyola University’s May 11 commencement ceremony, Deacon John was awarded an honorary doctorate. “I’m thrilled and honored by Loyola’s gesture and acknowledgement, and I was humbled by the company I was in,” Moore tells OffBeat.com. “I’ve earned a lot of titles –President, Doctor, Deacon. Now I’d like just one more: ‘Wealthy Retiree!’”