Paul Simon has always been a master of crafting simple narratives with his music. The man is a storyteller, and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” is quite the story. Simon paints a picture of a man and a woman, having the discussion quietly but intensely. Perhaps over coffee, perhaps at a low-key bar; it seems like it’s probably in New York.
Where Simon gave us a smooth, calm conversation, G. Love’s cover seems more like a recounting of it over shots of whiskey and empty beer bottles. It takes a masterful artist to cover a song so ubiquitous and give it his own unique sense of story, and G. Love‘s distinct style does just that.
The cover appears on the upcoming album Fixin’ to Die, on which the Avett Brothers are both producers and backing band. G. Love’s “50 Ways” goes perfectly with the bluesy stomping of the album’s recently-featured title track and brings a bluesy swagger to Simon’s song, making it both mournful and rollicking in a way that fits the original like a glove.