Jan 242018
joe beth black coffee

“I’m feeling mighty lonesome, haven’t slept a wink, I walk the floor and watch the door and in between I drink, black coffee.” 

If this opening line from the original Sarah Vaughan version of “Black Coffee” released in 1949, is the first ear-worm that pops into your brain when you think of this song, don’t worry, you would be among the majority. And, it is down this rabbit hole you would be sent searching for cover versions from the most sultry of sirens including Julie London, Peggy Lee, and Rosemary Clooney. Fine versions all.

But, that was then and this is now. Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart will soon be releasing their version on another superb platter of carefully curated cover tunes of the same name. Hailing from the Ike and Tina Turner and Humble Pie family tree, this version of the song – as Johnny Cash would say – “kicks like a mule and bites like a crocodile.” This is certainly not your grandmother’s cup of black coffee. Straight no chaser, please.

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Oct 102016
Howard Stern Presents The Beatles' Revolver

As you may have heard, this year marks the 50th birthday of the Beatles’ seminal album Revolver. We already put together our own tribute album, but the celebration continued this past weekend with another set of covers. For his radio show, Howard Stern collected all-new recordings of every track by some serious heavy hitters, from vets like James Taylor and Cheap Trick to newer buzz bands like Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Milk Carton Kids. And we’ve got every song below. Continue reading »

Aug 162011

Artists who contributed to the new John Martyn tribute album had a lot of options when choosing a track to cover; Martyn released twenty albums during his forty-plus year career. Thirty artists covered a song from Martyn’s expansive catalog to create Johnny Boy Would Love This: A Tribute to John Martyn. The British singer-songwriter, best known for his unique style on guitar, had a career that spanned genres from folk to jazz to rock and his music touched artists old and new. We previewed contributions from Beck, David Gray, and others earlier this month; now the complete album is available.

The remarkable scope of Johnny Boy Would Love This is an asset in that the album offers a rich, diverse group of tracks from well-respected artists. However, similarities between many tracks give the feeling that the collection could have been more carefully curated. Both discs are disproportionately populated with gentle, introspective covers; all the tracks respectfully pay tribute to Martyn, but not all offer something unique to the collection. There are, however, a selection of standouts among the thirty songs that make Johnny Boy Would Love This a worthwhile purchase for Martyn fans. Continue reading »