Next week, Reimagine Music releases Esperanza: Songs From Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa, an album of songs inspired by the Beat icon’s lesser-known 1960 novella. The Low Anthem, Marissa Nadler, Lee Ranaldo, and more contributed, with Gregory Alan Isakov donating a track he wrote using lyrics from the book – one he liked so much he decided to put it on his own album The Weatherman as well.
The Low Anthem first hit the Cover Me radar with their 2008 album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. Alongside 11 haunting folk originals lay a barnyard rave through “Home I’ll Never Be.” A piece by written by Jack Kerouac and given music decades later by Tom Waits, “Home I’ll Never Be” instantly indicated the cover potential of this Rhode Island quartet. The just-released Smart Flesh continues the pattern, opening with a cavernous take on George Carter’s “Ghost Woman Blues.”
With those two on our radar, we figured they’d probably covered other songs in their brief career. We were right. Below we’ve collected 20 cover songs by the Low Anthem. It’s not quite enough for an official Live Collection, but it’s quite a set nevertheless. They dig into folk music in all its forms, from old-timey tunes like “Two Sisters” to modern folk gems like the David Wax Museum’s “Let Me Rest.”