Apr 172017
 
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Eddie Veder and Brandi Carlile are two artists that just exude cool. Whether they are banging out a heavy rock song or waxing poetic with a melancholic ballad, the result is always something heartfelt and musically satisfying.

It stands to reason that Pearl Jam would be among a very solid lineup of talent covering Carlile’s 10-year old album The Story for charity tribute album Cover Stories. On the heels of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pearl Jam shows no sign of slowing as they continue to produce fantastic music such as their new version of “Again Today”.

Carlile herself lends backing vocals to this boisterous rendition of a very introspective and slow song. A nice full band sound with a head bopping beat are a complete juxtaposition to the original with it’s ethereal vibe and simple clear vocals from Carlile. Both versions work beautifully for what they are.

Carlile’s upcoming tribute album entitled Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of The Story-An Album to Benefit War Child will donate all proceeds of the album sales to War Child UK. In addition to Pearl Jam, the star Cover Stories lineup includes Adele, the Avett Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, and an excellent take on “The Story” by Dolly Parton.

Parton gives “The Story” a sweet, country vibe with her vocals. Simple, but emotion filled. The guitar and strings are absolutely perfect accompanying Parton. If these two tracks are indicative of the rest of the album, we are in for a real treat. The album comes out May 5th.

PS. Here’s a live video of Adele covering Carlile’s “Hiding My Heart.” A studio version, first released as a 19 bonus track, will also be on Cover Stories.

Aug 232016
 
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As has happened with a number of Kris Kristofferson songs (“Me and Bobby McGee,” “For the Good Times,” “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down”), “I’ve Got to Have You” was originally a hit for somebody else, Carly Simon. When Kristofferson first recorded his own version in 1974, he turned it into a duet, with his then-wife Rita Coolidge. Forty years later, he’s reprising his part on a gorgeous new cover by Nashville singer/songwriter Audrey Spillman.

Spillman met Kristofferson last year when they both acted together on the upcoming movie Wheeler. She’d given his wife a copy of her new EP and the couple loved it. As Spillman began recording her debut album (Thornbird, out next month), she emailed wondering whether he had any unrecorded songs he might like her to record. His wife suggested instead that Spillman record “I’ve Got To Have You” – and have Kris sing it with her, reprising his part from forty years ago. Continue reading »

Feb 012016
 
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It’s been a while since we heard from Laurence Collyer aka The Diamond Family Archive, but his covers album The Wanderer is one of the best of the past decade. He’ll take songs by The Eagles, Billy Joel, and Dire Straits (a lot of Dire Straits) and warp these pop hits into fractured, fragile ballads. The results are mesmerizing every time, and that’s still true on his new covers EP, the November installment in a monthly EP series. Continue reading »

May 052015
 
Kris-Kristofferson

I hesitated to write about Kris Kristofferson covering Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”, mostly because I just wrote about POP ETC’s cover of the same song a few weeks ago and I didn’t want to get typecast as the “All Tom, All The Time” writer. Continue reading »

Mar 132015
 

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!

When you consider their longevity, the sheer number and variety of their live performances, and influences as diverse as bluegrass, country, soul, rock, psychedelia, blues, and jazz, it is likely that the Grateful Dead may have recorded and/or performed more covers than any other band that is best known for its original songs. (There’s probably a wedding band out there that has a bigger songbook, but that’s not really the point.) Grateful Dead fans have been trading and cataloging their favorite band’s performances since long before the idea of digital music and the Internet even existed, and now there are numerous databases available online — one of which shows 343 separate covers performed by the band (and solo projects and offshoots), including soundchecks and performances with guests.

Therefore, it is somewhat surprising that Cover Me has never turned its lovelight directly on the Grateful Dead. We have written numerous times about covers of Dead songs, but a quick review of the archives indicates that only three covers by the band have been featured—Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” and Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” and “Mama Tried.” So, that leaves us a mere 340 to choose from today. To make this project (inspired in part by Phil Lesh’s 75th birthday this Sunday and by the recent announcement of the band’s 50th anniversary shows in Chicago this summer) somewhat less insane, we will limit ourselves only to recordings or performances by the Grateful Dead, proper — no solo projects or anything from after the death of Jerry Garcia.
Continue reading »

Jan 242012
 

Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. Continue reading »