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John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension Premiere New Song, "Lockdown Blues"

(Image credit: Ina Behrend)

Jazz-fusion guitar giant John McLaughlin may have retired from touring a couple years ago, but he's not finished creating - far from it.

Watching the devastation the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked across the world, McLaughlin reconvened his old band, the 4th Dimension, to record a new song, the appropriately-titled "Lockdown Blues."

Featuring McLaughlin, Gary Husband on keyboards, Etienne M'Bappe on bass and Ranjit Barot on drums and konnakol, "Lockdown Blues" was recorded remotely from a number of far-flung locales - McLaughlin in Monaco, Husband in London, M'Bappe in Paris and Barot in Mumbai.

You can hear the track, the ensemble's first new studio recording in five years, below.

The track aims to raise money for the Jazz Foundation of America, which recently established a COVID-19 Musicians' Emergency Fund to give musicians and their families money to help cover basic living expenses. 

"The pandemic has thrown hundreds of thousands of musicians out of work, and nobody knows how long," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin is asking listeners to consider donating to the fund to assist musicians and their families during this difficult time.

"As a band, we've been together so long we're family," McLaughlin added. "But in fact we go further back. Humanity is the only family, and we believe the only way humanity will survive is if we care enough for each other.

"We hope that whoever sees or hears this will care also. So, if you donate something - even something really small - thank you." 

To donate to the COVID-19 Musicians' Emergency Fund, stop by jazzfoundation.org (opens in new tab).

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.