Feb 262016
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

tift-merritt

Tift Merritt came out of Raleigh, North Carolina, back in 2002. Her debut, Bramble Rose, was well respected, finding itself on multiple best-of lists, but it was her second album, Tambourine, which was truly respected, getting Album of the Year nominations from the Grammys (country category) and the Americana Music Association. She’s toured hard, opening early in her career for her friend Ryan Adams and for Elvis Costello. She’s continued to release critically acclaimed albums, both on her own and in joint projects such as Night, her 2013 collaboration with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Her work has led to a great deal of respect from people in the industry, but not a corresponding amount of fame. Even so, fans in the know recognize her as a leader within the field, and her talent shines through no matter where she shows up. Emmylou Harris said that Merritt stands out “like a diamond in a coal patch.” Emmylou is right. Tift Merritt may not be played on your local radio station very often, but she deserves a place in your listening library.

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Feb 022015
 

Tomorrow Bob Dylan releases his album of Frank Sinatra covers, Shadows in the Night. He’s long spoken of his appreciation for Sinatra. In his memoir Chronicles, Vol. 1, he talks about discovering one particular song in the early ’60s: “I used to play the phenomenal ‘Ebb Tide’ by Frank Sinatra a lot and it had never failed to fill me with awe. The lyrics were so mystifying and stupendous. When Frank sang that song, I could hear everything in his voice—death, God and the universe, everything.” Continue reading »

Oct 132011
 

We’ve been hearing a lot about Q magazine’s upcoming U2 tribute these past few days, but a rival British publication has their own tribute album out now. It’s MOJO, which pays tribute to George Harrison, who died 10 years ago next month, on the Harrison Covered album. It includes a few classic covers, but most of the tracks are new, and you can listen to ‘em below. Continue reading »

May 242011
 

Dylan Covers A-Z presents covers of every single Bob Dylan song. View the full series here.

We began our celebrations yesterday, but today, in fact, is the big day. On May 24th, 1941, Bob Dylan was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. Twenty-one years later he released his first album and ever since…well, you know.

We continue our week-long series presenting covers of every single Dylan song with “Father of Night,” one of several Dylan songs that Manfred Mann rescued from obscurity. From there we hit songs by Jeff Buckley, The White Stripes, George Harrison, and, oh, about 54 more. Hours of music, and we’re not even halfway done! Continue reading »

Apr 012011
 

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

Regular readers know we love Bob Dylan covers. They also know we love collecting live covers in what we creatively call Live Collections. Well this is a live collection to beat them all. It’s 33 discs of live Dylan covers performed by, well, everybody! Continue reading »

Jan 042011
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

Many people who know Tim Reynolds came to him via one man: Dave Matthews. The two toured together as an acoustic duo for years. He toured with Dave Matthews & Friends and finally became an official Dave Matthews Band member in 2008. Saying Reynolds would be nothing without Matthews gives him too little credit; prowess this impressive couldn’t go unheard forever. Without Dave though, Reynolds’ career trajectory would look very different.

Before you dismiss him as some leech riding Matthews’ coattails though, you need to hear his solo stuff. Whether you think Matthews is a modern prophet or self-important fratboy is irrelevant. Even the most ardent Dave-bashers can enjoy Reynolds’ guitar mastery. No mindless jamming here; when Reynolds sets out on an instrumental journey, he does so with purpose. Continue reading »