Otis Redding is heartbreak’s greatest translator. The tragically short-lived soul singer knew how to sing a love song for the forlorn better than most, and his melismatic vocal abilities brought listeners to their knees as he crooned for the woman who left him behind. Now two ladies are picking up where Otis left off and pouring their own booming voices on top of Redding’s classic, “Pain in My Heart,” like syrup on pancakes. Grace Potter and Sharon Jones exist on opposite ends of the soul spectrum. The former represents nouveau blue-eyed soul and the latter is the closest thing today’s listeners have to the original Stax sound.
In this performance, their perspectives on soul music fuse and create a spark that will light every listener on fire. They twist their individual talents together and somehow manage to weave rock, gospel, soul, and the blues into one, making a cover that would do Otis proud. The girls egg each other on and enter into a friendly competition of whose pipes pump out the bigger sounds (it’s a tie) only to finish together in one epic and woeful sigh. This performance just might galvanize Mr. Redding back to life, or at the very least have him juking in the sky.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals ft. Sharon Jones – Pain in My Heart (Otis Redding cover)