Apr 192012

When a band hasn’t released a studio album of new music in four years, and then puts out an album made up entirely of cover songs, you might expect their fans to get restless. For Counting Crows fans, though, Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation) is no less sweet because the band didn’t write the songs. Lead singer Adam Duritz and the gang have been doing covers, in full or sneakily added as bridges in live shows, since their inception. And, as Duritz says in the liner notes, “I’ve never stopped being a fan” of other people’s music. Continue reading »

Feb 082012

Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows has long worn his influences on his sleeve, and the band often does live covers of their favorite artists. If you are an aspiring artist, head over to Indabamusic where you have until March 1st to submit your own Counting Crows cover for the chance at a signed Squier guitar, $600 to Guitar Center, and inclusion of your song on an EP. If you’re not into making music, you can head over and start listening to the submissions. Cover Me veteran Allison Crowe has already submitted a stunning version of “Raining in Baltimore. Continue reading »

May 132011

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

Remarkably prolific by today’s standards,  Ryan Adams has released 12 albums (some solo and some with The Cardinals) since the breakup of his seminal alt-country band Whiskeytown in 2000. Not like your typical modern artist with three or four year gaps between releases. He’s also made friends in high places, including Elton John, Willie Nelson and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. Not just a hard-working studio musician, Adams also tours extensively, with an upcoming European tour marking his return to the stage after his 2009 ‘retirement.’

Never one to hide his influences, Adams regularly includes cover songs as part of his live show. We’ve compiled a selection of his covers for our latest Live Collection. Remember this is no one-album artist. Given his back catalog, Adams chooses covers that, for the most part, really mean something to him. Country and ‘70s rock figure heavily in his choices: five songs associated with Gram Parsons, three classics by The Rolling Stones, and the obligatory Neil Young nod. Continue reading »

Apr 062011

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Thirty-eight number one country hits, numerous Academy of Country Music awards, three Grammy Awards and somewhere around 10 billion studio and live albums (give or take): Merle Haggard has accomplished a good deal in his 74 years on this planet. He has experienced his share of hardships as well – “hard living,” four marriages, heart problems and recent lung cancer – but he still continues to release albums and tour constantly. As an originator of both the Bakersfield sound and outlaw country, Haggard came upon the scene at a time when country music had drifted far from its roots, with overwrought, schmaltzy ballads dominating the charts. Along with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, he helped inject a much-needed dose of reality, likely rescuing the genre from a permanent descent into the adult contemporary wilderness. Continue reading »

Oct 142010

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

It was almost 17 years ago now that frontman Jay Farrar split ways with his alt-country group Uncle Tupelo due to differences with bassist Jeff Tweedy, leaving Tweedy and the rest of the band in the dust. Since that time, Farrar’s career has skyrocketed, and Tweedy and the boys haven’t done anything.

Wait. I’m wrong. They formed a band called Wilco, which continues to prosper as one of the most important and influential bands in indie music.

To conclude that Wilco’s longevity is due to some sort of a constant and timeless sound would be dead wrong, however, as our latest Live Collection shows. The covers below, which include romps through the works of David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, the Ramones, and even a few half-hearted attempts at tracks by one of Farrar’s subsequent projects, Son Volt, show just how much Wilco has changed through the years. The Wilco who covers “Organ Blues” in 2000 sounds little like the one who does Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart” in 1995. Sure, their 2002 cover of The Stooges’ “TV Eye” anticipates the pulsating pianos and dissonant guitars that would not truly define their albums until years later, but as a general rule, you can follow the arc of the band’s sound through the years pretty closely via the covers below. Continue reading »

Oct 252009

Cover News is a weekly feature keeping you up to date on the goings-on in the world of cover tunes, tribute albums, etc. Plus, at the bottom we post our array of cover tunes we’ve been sent in the past week. Have you recorded a cool cover? Send an mp3 to the email address on the right!

This Week’s News

Candidate for Best Cover of 2009: Kings of Convenience taking on Leslie Gore’s “It’s My Party” for SPIN. Head there to check out the video, then come back here to download the mp3. [SPIN]

The video for Fever Ray’s cover of Nick Cave’s “Stranger Than Kindness” may be the creepiest thing since…everything else Fever Ray has ever done. [Music Video Daily]

We mentioned last week that the Flaming Lips were talking about a full-album Dark Side of the Moon cover set. Well the first taste of said set comes with “Eclipse.” [Stereogum]

Phish is still killing off the albums they won’t be covering this Halloween. With only one week to go it’s getting down to the wire, but Prince, Frank Zappa and Michael “This Is It” Jackson are hanging in there. [Phish]

Patti Smith recently debuted many brand-new covers to celebrate the work of photographer Robert Frank. [Dylan, Etc.]

Indie rocksters The Walkmen have a couple choice Leonard Cohen cuts (and best of all, neither of them is “Hallelujah”!). [Aquarium Drunkard]

The Raconteurs are on hiatus while Jack White records a second album with the Dead Weather, so Brendan Benson’s got a lot of time on his hands. We saw him perform on a Manhattan roof a few months ago, and now he’s back covering Superdrag. [Daytrotter]

Guided By Voices got their start in Rio de Janeiro, so it’s only natural for an all-Brazilian tribute album to turn up. Wait, they’re from Dayton? Oh. [Transfusão Noise Records]

Echo and the Bunnymen don’t put on the most enthralling live show, but the did bust out tunes by the Doors, John Lennon, Lou Reed and more at a recent NYC gig. [Rolling Stone]

Finnish songwriter Jaakko Teppo is the subject of a new tribute album, featuring Nightwish. [Braveworlds]

This Week’s Submissions

Nicky Francis – Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival) [more]

Nicky Francis – Still Feelin’ Blue (Gram Parsons) [more]

Gangbang Gordon – It Ain’t Gonna Save Me (Jay Reatard) [more]

Love Songs – Dragstrip Riot (The New Bomb Turks) [more]

Neil Nathan – Do Ya (Electric Light Orchestra) [more]

Neil Nathan – Darling Friend (Für Elise) (Beethoven) [more]

Random Maxx – Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie) [more]

Sonos – I Want You Back (Robin Danar Mix) (The Jackson 5) [more]

Your Mother – Fun Zone (“Weird Al” Yankovic) [more]