Arthur Russell is one of those artists I keep promising myself I’ll make some time to listen to. I’ve heard and read lots of good things about him. But the only familiarity with his music I have is through covers of his songs. Joel Gibb’s version of ‘That’s Us/Wild Combination’ off the tribute EP ‘Four Songs By Arthur Russell’ is an absolute stunner of a song.
Artist Doug Aitken’s “Song 1,” a 360-degree video projection on the Hirshhorn Museum, features “I Only Have Eyes for You,” covered by several artists, which according to the Hirshhorn website is to “emphasize the universality of the song.” Contributions include covers by Devendra Banhart, LCD Soundsystem, No Age, and Beck.
It was early 1986 when Pegi Young told her husband Neil Young that they would need to build a school to suit the special needs of their son, Ben. She then suggested that in order to pay for it, that Neil call his friend Bruce Springsteen and put together a concert to fund it. 25 years later, the Bridge School Benefit concert has become an annual tradition where superstars from all genres of music come to share the gift of music to support this amazing school. The Bridge shows are all acoustic and offer a unique setting where artists can experiment with their material and get the chance to sit in and play with friends and heroes alike.
She may be best known as a famous wife, but anyone who has ever seen Pegi Young sing backup for hubby Neil knows the gal’s got country chops. She’s more “My My, Hey Hey” than “Hey Hey, My My” (get Rust Never Sleeps if that went over your head), her weathered vocals lending a moving weariness to whatever material they touch. Her latest album Foul Deeds features covers of old-timers like Lucinda Williams, but one younger songwriter gets the nod: Devendra Banhart.
Mrs. Young tackles “Body Breaks” from freak-folk Banhart’s 2004 album Rejoicing in the Hands. Neil’s band backs her up, and yes, that includes Mr. Young himself, who joins in on guitar. Stream and download the track below.
Following the success of last month’s Neil Young tribute contest, we’ve got a couple copies of Foul Deeds to give away. Enter your name, email address, and a song you’d like to hear Pegi and Neil cover into the comments section below. The contest ends at midnight on Wednesday, July 28th is closed.