John Oates Talks Bonnaroo SuperJam, Carl Broemel and Becca Bramlett Added to Lineup
John Oates has revealed some new information about this Saturday’s Bonnaroo SuperJam. As previously reported, the Hall & Oates singer/guitarist will serve as musical director for this year’s Rock n’ Soul Dance Party SuperJam. In addition to Oates, the annual jam will feature My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Sly & the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham, among others. The news comes just as the festival officially added Bilal, Trey Anastasio Band percussionist Cyro Baptista and MMJ guitarist Carl Broemel to the jam session’s lineup.
Oates has also revealed to Rolling Stone that former Fleetwood Mac singer Becca Bramlett—the daughter of musical duo Delaney & Bonnie—and Wendy Moten will provide additional vocals. He also hints that both R. Kelly and Lee Fields will sit in.
“We’ve got this incredible band that we’ve assembled,” he tells the magazine. “Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket is playing lead guitar, we’ve got Ziggy Modeliste from the Meters playing drums, Larry Graham from Sly and the Family Stone is playing bass. We’ve got Becca Bramlett and Wendy Moten, who are two of my favorite singers, singing background and leads. Bilal Oliver, from Philadelphia, is coming out, R. Kelly may show up. We’ve got Lee Fields, the Preservation Hall Jazz horns – it’s just off the charts. The theme of our SuperJam is called Rock ‘N’ Soul Dance Party, and it’s just a ridiculous set list. It’s crazy. We’re doing a whole block of Sly stuff, obviously, because of Larry. We’re doing everything from the Meters to Prince to the Band to John Lennon to the O’Jays. I’ve been waiting my whole life to do this set.”
He elaborates on the show’s setlist in an interview with Al.com
“For Rock n’ Soul Dance Party, we wanted the focus to be on a non-stop groove,” he explains. “We began assembling a growing set of songs and musicians that we wanted to be a part of it. I think this will continue to evolve until the moment we get on stage. Just this morning, I had someone that I can’t talk about contact me, and he wants to do a song that I’ve spent most of the day trying to figure out a horn arrangement for. I mean, the group we already have is incredible: ZigMo from The Meters, Larry Graham from Sly & the Family Stone, Preservation Hall Jazz Band – we have Bekka Bramlett and Wendy Moten doing background vocals – it’s going to be really special.”
He goes on to say that he will not play any of his originals and the show’s setlist will focus primarily on classic funk and soul numbers. “We’ve decided that this isn’t about our original material,” he explains. “This is about songs that have been a part of our musical DNA. You want the setlist? I have it right here. ‘Shaky Ground’ by The Temptations. ‘Move On Up’ by Curtis Mayfield. Otis Redding’s version of ‘Satisfaction.’ ‘Hey Pocky Way’ by The Meters. And then we have a set of about six songs by Sly & the Family Stone: ‘Hot Fun in the Summertime,’ ‘Everyday People,’ ‘Dance to the Music.’ We’ll do ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye. ‘Bang a Gong’ by T-Rex. We want this to be a huge dance party, and it’s going to be a special moment at Bonnaroo, where anything can happen. I know this, when we encore with I ‘Want to Take You Higher’ [by Sly and the Family Stone] that place will be crazy. I’m very excited about it.”
Bonnaroo kicks off in Manchester, TN tomorrow.