Oct 272020
 
struts kiss cover

As with many bands, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the Struts’ 2020 musical plans. They had originally intended to record an EP this year, but with all touring activities cancelled, the British rockers instead released a full album entitled Strange Days. On the album, the group included a cover of the Kiss deep cut “Do You Love Me.” At a time when the normal excesses of the rock n’ roll lifestyle have been curtailed, it comes across as a work of downright nostalgia for an era whose time has passed.

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Oct 262020
 
miley cyrus covers

In 2020, Miley Cyrus has spent lockdown reinventing herself, unleashing new old-school rockstar personal on her recent performances on MTV Unplugged and the Save our Stages Festival on Youtube. She covered a whopping seven songs over both performances – five in Unplugged and two in the SOS performance, her choices signaling her current touchstones. Continue reading »

Oct 222020
 
bird bee little drummer boy

If there was ever a year to go ahead and start the Christmas music early, this might be it. Christmas music means it’s almost Christmas means 2020 is almost, finally, over. And what better way to get started than with everyone’s favorite Christmas song “Little Drummer Boy”!

Alright, so this song can be a bit polarizing, but the Bird and the Bee surely aren’t, especially when they are joined by Dave Grohl in the titular role. Continue reading »

Oct 212020
 
uncommon denominator

With its undeniably catchy hook and sharp lyrics, Lizzo’s “Juice” has been a hit for the past two summers and is sure to see many more covers. Uncommon Denominator’s new version cover moves the horns, which sneak into the end of the original, to the forefront, blending them with soulful vocals and all the intricacies of the original’s rhythm section.

This Eau Claire-based cover band, who have described themselves as “a group of friends that united over a passion for playing music that is fun,” bring a life-affirming attitude to the track. Along with it, the eight piece band released a video which captures their vibrant group dynamic, making for an impressive effort at their first-ever music video.

Oct 202020
 
declan mckenna mccartney

Transport yourself to a rustic farm by listening to Declan McKenna’s lo-fi banjo cover of Paul and Linda McCartney’s Ram classic “Heart of the Country.” The English singer-songwriter’s version starts paired down to only his voice and a banjo, but gradually builds more harmonic layers with a funky bass line stays true to the original. The prominent banjo translates the swing of McCartney’s song well. Overlaid with the banjo, he sounds right as home and could give country singers a run for their money.

McKenna’s recently released album Zeros is a spaced-out glam-rock harmonic journey. And yet he retains a twang in both his indie style songs and in this cover. Even if you can’t visit any horse or sheep in the heart of the country right now, McKenna makes it a bit easier to imagine an autumnal adventure full of apple picking and hayrides this October.

Oct 202020
 

My Darling ClementineForgive the sense of deja vu. We have indeed been here before, at different stages of fruition; this being the 3rd and final chapter of Country Darkness, hitherto a work in progress.

For those not up to speed, here we have the UK’s answer to George’n’Tammy, the married country torch singers Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish. Otherwise known as my Darling Clementine, they’re both big fans of Elvis Costello, and they have been spending their 2020 putting together a collection of Costello covers. To add icing to that cake, they’ve done this in conjunction with no less than Steve Nieve, right hand man and keyboard pilot for Costello since near the beginning. Released in three helpings (earlier volumes reviewed here and here), this final set is again four songs. Over the course of the year, the question has changed from whether it will be worth hearing (’twas ever thus) to whether they can keep up the momentum.

My answer: a muted yes.
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