Jun 182018
 

In Pick Five, great artists pick five cover songs that matter to them.

fantastic negrito cover songs

In the year 2000, the musician known as Fantastic Negrito almost died. A car accident put him in a three-week coma before requiring months of brutal physical therapy. When he finally got out of the hospital, permanent damage to his guitar-playing hand forced him to retire from music. He eventually moved to Oakland and became an urban farmer growing vegetables and, as his new bio artfully puts it, “other, more profitable, green matter.”

A lot has happened since then. He eventually returned to music, and quickly achieved the sort of milestones he never did the first time around. He won the first-ever NPR Tiny Desk Contest in 2015, earned a longtime champion and mentor in Chris Cornell, and, just last year, won his first Grammy award, for Best Contemporary Blues Album. But the accident’s after-effects linger in his mind on new album Please Don’t Be Dead, which features a real photo from his hospital stay as its cover. Watch the music video for single “The Duffler”: Continue reading »

Jan 222018
 
elmore james strange angels

Elmore James is on the Mount Rushmore of influential blues artists. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James would be the likely busts carved deep in granite on blues rock mountain. The case for the inclusion of Elmore James on this list of guitar luminaries is a relatively simple one.  Look no further than “Dust My Broom,” “Rollin’ and Tumblin,” “The Sky is Crying,” and, of course, “Shake Your Moneymaker.” Continue reading »

Jan 182011
 

Last we heard from First Aid Kit, they were pepping up Fever Ray’s “When I Grow Up.” They return today with two new covers. This time, though, they bring along a new friend: Mr. Jack White III. As he so often does, White produced their new 7” for his own Third Man Records label. The Swedish folk duo covers two old-school chestnuts: “Universal Soldier” and “It Hurts Me Too.” Listen to both below. Continue reading »