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Preview: The New Orleans tribute to Joe Cocker

Mad Dogs and Englishmen features more than 20 local musicians playing Cocker’s greatest hits

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Joe Cocker's 1970 album, tour and film Mad Dogs & Englishmen stands as perhaps his greatest artistic triumph, and the mythologized magic and mayhem surrounding it only grew following the blue-eyed soul singer's death in December 2014. Suddenly in high demand after the breakout success of his appearance at Woodstock the year before, Cocker struggled with stardom and, exhausted from heavy touring and partying, fired his entire band before arriving in Los Angeles to rest and recuperate. As legend holds, however, the Englishman already had booked a 52-city tour of the United States and was informed by the musicians' union that if he bailed on the tour, he would never work again in America. Cocker approached Leon Russell, an established studio and songwriting wizard, for help and the duo formed a band featuring a choir, horn section and multiple drummers backing Cocker's vocals and Russell on piano and guitar. The plan captured lightning in a bottle in a two-night run at New York City's Fillmore East, and they ultimately released a live album and concert film. In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the concerts, more than 20 local musicians including Brint Anderson, Micah McKee, Chris Mule, Mark Mullins, Margie Perez, Marc Stone (pictured) and others perform a tribute show to deliver such timeless Cocker tunes as "The Letter," "Delta Lady" and "With a Little Help from My Friends."

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