Our friends at LaundroMatinee recorded a good one. It’s the Young Republic covering Tom Waits’ 1999 barnburner “Chocolate Jesus.” The Nashville quintet has been compared to the reclusive songwriter before, so the selection makes sense. However, being compared to an artist as eclectic as Waits doesn’t necessarily tell you much. It could mean they sound like Frank Sinatra, Howlin’ Wolf, or Captain Beefheart (R.I.P.), so we’ll modify by saying they’re like the delta-blues Tom Waits of “Murder in the Red Barn.” No banging two-by-fours into dumpsters here.
The Young Republic keeps the back-porch thump of the original, but Kristen Weber’s vocals take it to another level. Her powerful croon embraces you with just enough edge to avoid Norah Jones territory. As a bonus, it’s the rare cover that swaps genders seamlessly (“Almond Joy…boy” becomes “licorice twirl…girl”). Watch the video and download the MP3 below. (via LaudroMatinee)
The Young Republic – Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits cover)