Ray Padgett

Based in New York City and Vermont, Ray Padgett founded Cover Me in 2007 as a college student and has overseen it ever since. His writing has appeared in SPIN, MTV, Mashable, Consequence of Sound, and an upcoming Bob Dylan anthology. He's been interviewed about cover songs by the Wall Street Journal and the BBC and is currently working on a book on the subject. To preempt the oft-asked question, he doesn't think cover songs are better than originals; he just believes they're undervalued. Without covers, the world wouldn't have Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, or even the Beatles. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

A lot of songwriters call themselves “Americana,” but John Statz the geographical credentials to back it up. He’s from Wisconsin, lives in Colorado, recorded his new album in Vermont, and titled it Tulsa. On one track he looks across the pond though – to Britain’s Radiohead, whose “Motion Picture Soundtrack” he turns into a hushed country lament. Continue reading »

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Tusk‘s reputation as an infamous failure is pretty much cemented at this point. But it didn’t actually fail at all.
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Rhiannon Giddens of the Caroline Chocolate Drops just released a terrific mostly-covers album, but she’s already dropped another cover, this one a duet with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine. For the series finale of the NBC show Parenthood they took on Bob Dylan‘s “Forever Young” (a little on the nose perhaps?). They briefly appeared in the episode recording the track too. Continue reading »

This week, Jason Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires dropped a surprise two-song covers EP called Sea Songs. It features sparse takes on two natically-themed tracks, Warren Zevon‘s “Mutineer” and a more unexpected choice: Lykke Li‘s storming “I Follow Rivers.” They just hit the web, stream both below. Continue reading »

In 1949, Canadian folk icon Wade Hemsworth paid tribute to his homeland with “The Black Fly Song” (though any lyric that says “I’ll die with the black fly a-pickin’ my bones in Northern Ontario” is a dark tribute indeed). Doug Paisley lives in Toronto, but as a fascinating SPIN profile last year revealed, does a lot of his writing in an off-the-grid cabin up north. So for a new Exclaim! TV session, he paid tribute to Hemsworth’s tribute, covering “The Black Fly Song.” Continue reading »

When Cosovel singer Izolda Sorenson emailed me her band’s music, I wasn’t sure what I was hearing. The email was little help, as it appeared to have been run through Google Translate: “I travesty poetry of 20th century slovenian dadaist, Srecko Kosovel, changing historical context, but trying to keep emotionality of poems rebellion character.”

But the videos she included were striking. Dark and surreal, they featured ambulances and bodypaint, like someone who had been watching a lot of David Lynch. One mimicked the creepy aesthetic of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer”; the other seemed more like “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Continue reading »

Tomorrow Bob Dylan releases his album of Frank Sinatra covers, Shadows in the Night. He’s long spoken of his appreciation for Sinatra. In his memoir Chronicles, Vol. 1, he talks about discovering one particular song in the early ’60s: “I used to play the phenomenal ‘Ebb Tide’ by Frank Sinatra a lot and it had never failed to fill me with awe. The lyrics were so mystifying and stupendous. When Frank sang that song, I could hear everything in his voice—death, God and the universe, everything.” Continue reading »

When John Fahey-esq acoustic guitar virtuoso William Tyler delivered a covers session for Aquarium Drunkard, most of the choices were understandable ones for a fingerpicker: Ry Cooder, Blaze Floley, and a track from a compilation of rare solo guitar performances. The final one was a left-turn though: Blue Ösyter Cult. Specifically, an obscure track called “She’s As Beautiful As A Foot” from their relatively unsuccessful debut LP. Continue reading »

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