Mar 082017
 
Man About a Horse

Radiohead songs work surprisingly well as bluegrass. Chris Thile’s Punch Brothers alone have covered “Kid A,” “Paranoid Android,” “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box,” “2+2=5,” and, with Sarah Jorosz, “The Tourist.” Then there’s one of those The Bluegrass Tribute To… albums saluting the band. And the latest killer Radio-grass cover comes from Philadelphia quintet Man About a Horse, tackling the very timely OK Computer track “Electioneering.” It’s the first single from their debut album out in May, and we’ve got the exclusive premiere below. Continue reading »

Jan 132017
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

keith richards

Over the years, the perception of Keith Richards has changed from “He’ll die any day now” to “How has he not died yet?” to “He’s never going to die.” In 2016, a year that wiped out Bowie, Prince, and Abe Vigoda, not to mention Emerson, Lake, and (Arnold) Palmer, the soul of the Stones kept right on glimmering. A popular meme shows him reading the paper and saying, “Hey, Mick, look who I outlived this week.” In a way, it’s self-fulfilling prophecy; Keith is rock and roll, and rock and roll – especially in the form of the Rolling Stones’ songs – will never die.

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Nov 302011
 

When you think of Rancid’s “Ruby Soho,” you probably think: punk. And it is, but it’s always had a vaguely reggae-ish groove. The opening line even makes this explicit: “Echoes of reggae coming through my bedroom wall.” Now the connection becomes even clearer from reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who covers it on his new EP. Continue reading »

Aug 122011
 

Jimmy Cliff may not be a household name these days, but the name Bob Marley may not have been one either had it not been for the road paved by Cliff. Cliff rose to international fame with his role, musically and as an actor, in the 1972 film The Harder They Come, which exposed much of the world to reggae for the first time. The title song of the movie is listed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, along with Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross.” Continue reading »

Apr 072011
 

Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What, his first album in five years, drops next week (listen to it now on NPR), so it figures the Simon promotion machine is in full swing. Just an hour ago we heard Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig cover Simon and now Simon himself performs a Jimmy Cliff cover. Continue reading »

Mar 252011
 

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!


Born in 1947, the man christened Reginald Kenneth Dwight has left a stunning mark on popular culture in the last four decades. Over 30 albums, two animated films, two Broadway plays and a host of crazy costumes later, Elton John‘s still standing. Unlike many musicians his age, John’s work output has not slowed, nor has his popularity. Just last year he released a Grammy-nominated album with American singer-songwriter Leon Russell, and he’ll soon embark on a worldwide greatest hits tour. John and his domestic partner David Furnish also recently welcomed a child into their household via surrogate. That lucky little tyke gets to count Lady Gaga as one of his godmothers. Continue reading »