Feb 152017
 
alison krauss covers

Windy City is Alison Krauss’s first solo album in 17 years, but that tagline is a little misleading. Krauss has kept busy, recording recent albums with her band Union Station, one with Robert Plant (which won the Album of the Year Grammy no less), and dueting with Willie Nelson and John Prine on their recent albums. But in the midst of all that, she found time to record a new album of country covers and standards. It’s out Friday, but she’s released three tracks already, covers of Roger Miller, Brenda Lee, and the Osborne Brothers

Krauss digs deep for the songs she covers. “River in the Rain” hails from from Miller’s 1980s Broadway musical about Huckleberry Finn (the performance at the 1985 Tony Awards is worth watching). “Losing You” is one of two songs she covers by Lee (along with “All Alone Am I”), with whom she’s dueted in the past. The title track, most famous from bluegrass pioneers the Osborne Brothers, is perhaps the most obvious pick for Krauss, but she de-twangifies it significantly into a tender country-pop ballad. Continue reading »

Sep 132013
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

Gillian Welch is a yankee. There, it’s said. One would have a hard time discerning it from her mix of folk and bluegrass arrangements, but there’s a Big Apple right there on her birth certificate. So let it be noted that, when compared to some “legitimate” country music popularized and sung by those born and bred in the South, with their auto-tuned cartoonish absence of substance, an overabundance of shiny objects and pyrotechnics, and some ghastly redneck rap thrown in, it’s obvious that birthplace alone has little influence on how traditional or great country music is.
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Feb 222012
 

The 500th episode of The Simpsons aired on Sunday, and we cannot believe we didn’t report on this sooner (D’oh!). There is no need to reiterate the pop-cultural significance of the satirical animated series. Fans of the show have created ‘Best of’ lists, compiled every single line Bart has written on the chalkboard during the opening (all 288 of them,) and yes, have even covered the catchy theme song. Continue reading »

Mar 222011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: Jake Shimabukuro, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and Neil Young, “A Day in the Life”

Two genre battles today. First, it’s a country face-off as Alison Krauss’ “I Will” takes on Johnny Cash’s “It’s My Life.” Then, alternative rules when Nick Cave’s “Let It Be” challenges the Breeders’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Mar 102011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: Dirt Poor Robins, “Eleanor Rigby” and Mark Heard, “I’m Looking Through You”

Four strong contenders today. Alison Krauss sets her bluegrassy “I Will” against Neil Cowley Trio’s jazzed-out “Revolution 9” (yes, that “Revolution 9”). Then, an indie-alt battle between eels’ “I’m a Loser” and the Breeders’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.”

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »