Slash pops up everywhere these days, appearing to play his “Sweet Child o’ Mine” lick whenever you say his name three times (see: Super Bowl). Thankfully, jolly old Vunter Slaush stayed dormant when Scott Gagner recorded his cover of the Guns n’ Roses classic. This delicate acoustic ballad would most certainly not benefit from top-hatted heroics.
Early rock and roll was generally the purview of good-ol’ Southern boys, but Jack Scott proved the exception. Hailing from Ontario, he had a string of hits in the late ‘50s that led Dave Marsh to call him “undeniably the greatest Canadian rock and roll singer of all time.” He never quite hit the heights of your Hollys or Presleys, but just earlier this year he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Now he gets another tribute from Detroit septet Rio and the Rockabilly Revival, who cover his debut single “Leroy.” As they explain, the choice is less coincidental than you might imagine:
“Poker Face” covers are a dime a dozen. Jef Kearns knows this, but thought he could bring something new to the Lady Gaga megahit all the same. “I know it’s been done a million times before (just plug “Poker Face, cover” into YouTube) but not the way I was about to,” he said. “I am a flute player specializing in urban music. I slowed it down, put a hip hop beat behind it, and did it as a jazzy instrumental. It turned out so well that I wanted to use it as a B-side to my single, On the Level.”
Rolling Stone ranked “Love and Happiness,” Al Green’s horn-fueled blast of feel-good soul, the 98th best song ever written. On her new cover, though, Madison, WI singer/songwriter/ukulele player Alicia Lemke sounds anything but intimidated. Poppy ukulele rhythms take center stage in what starts delicate and swells to a full-throated rhythm-pop production. She describes the story behind the song:
The inaugural post in our new series with our Limelight partners digs up a gem from a few months back. It’s Hawaii singer/songwriter Will Shine, who threw a left-field cover on his new album Here, There, and Everywhere in Between. Amidst the folk-rock wistfulness, one boisterous acoustafunk jam seems oddly familiar. After a minute or so, you realize, yes, it is indeed a horn-fueled AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” swaggering with a whole new attitude very different from the original’s. We’re talking horn solos, a backup chorus, and jammy acoustic rhythms.