Oct 262017
 
free covers album

Ten years ago today, I had a whim.

I was studying abroad one semester and found myself with a lot of free time – school work was light, and a college student’s budget limited my international explorations – so I decided to start a blog. A second blog actually, since for several years I had run a personal blog of concert reviews and bootleg downloads called Dylan, Etc (it had more “Dylan” than it did “Etc”). I’d fallen in love with the cover song after hearing Bob Dylan (who else) play a revelatory cover of “Summertime” on his short-lived radio show. I’d already hosted a Cover Me college radio show, and decided to expand us to the World Wide Web.

These were the days of the so-called “MP3 blog,” which included a vibrant subgenre of cover-songs blogs. That’s right, I’d like to claim credit for inventing the category, but I didn’t – not even close. RIP to Copy Right?, Cover Freak, Fong Songs, and the rest of the pioneers – and shoutout to our fellow survivors from that era, Coverville, which was releasing podcasts before most people knew what that word meant, and the folk blog Cover Lay Down, which began around the same time as us.

A lot has changed over the past decade. We’ve published 3,564 posts as of this one. Oh, and did you notice the pronoun change there? Cover Me is no longer an “I” – it’s a “we”, with over 60 writers contributing over the years. We’ve grown from an ugly Blogspot to our spiffy own domain (which is overdue for a redesign itself, frankly). And in case the large banner ads all over the site weren’t clue enough, I just released a book also called Cover Me, which – back-patting alert – Variety called “one of the best multi-subject music books to come down the pike in years.”

We wanted to do something special to celebrate our tenth birthday. And we wanted to celebrate not just ourselves, but celebrate the cover song itself. So we put together this little album Cover Me Turns 10: A Covers Tribute to Covers as a gift to our readers. We contacted several dozen of our musician friends and asked them to cover a cover. That is, to honor the many great songs we might not even know without an iconic cover – Aretha Franklin reinventing Otis Redding’s “Respect,” Quiet Riot amplifying Slade’s call to feel the noize, Prince learning that nothing compares 2 Sinéad O’Connor.

We’re honored that so many of our favorite musicians contributed, and frankly speechless at how great a job they did. So speechless, in fact, that we asked them all to introduce their own work with a few sentences. A million thanks to all of them, and also to Cover Me writer and art whiz Sean Balkwill for designing the lovely – ahem – cover. The whole thing is free to download at Bandcamp until downloads run out, and free to stream forever.

Enough chatter from me. For ten years this blog has been all about celebrating the music and we’re not going to stop now. Thanks for taking this journey with us.

– Ray Padgett
Cover Me Founder Continue reading »

Apr 292016
 
landofleland2016edit

We’ve been Land of Leland fans for a while now – back in 2011 Cover Me readers commissioned him to cover Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere,” and then earlier this year we premiered his new Whitney Houston cover. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait another five years for a follow-up, as he’s recently posted a cover of Björk’s “Unravel” to his Bandcamp. Continue reading »

Feb 222016
 
landofleland2016edit

Back in 2012, when news of Whitney Houston‘s death came out, there was a massive outpouring of love for her work. Her legendary career and persona had an effect on music fans of all ages and backgrounds. There were tributes, vigils, and in at least one case, an impromptu dance party.

Justin Keller, the artist behind the band Land of Leland, recently recorded his version of Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” but the story behind the song goes all the way back to the day the news of Houston’s death broke. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

It’s Christmas Eve, a light snow is falling outside, illuminated by the twinkling Christmas lights around the windows. The lights are out, a fire in the fireplace, the kids nestled in bed. Under the tree, presents are freshly wrapped and you sink into your favorite easy chair with the night’s last egg nog. Time for a little mood music. How about that saxophone guy who also sings Christmas songs? No, not Kenny G (although this is the one time of year you get a free pass on playing Miracles). Play some new tunes by Cover Me veteran Land of Leland. Continue reading »

Jul 012011
 

Cover Commissions offers readers a chance to choose what song a featured artist covers for this blog. Any artists interested in participating, contact us.

In April we premiered a cover of the Outfield’s “Your Love” by Land of Leland, the project of multi-instrumentalist Justin Keller. We asked you to vote on the next song he should cover, and with less than five votes separating the top choices, “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac squeaked by as the winner. Now we’re excited to premiere that cover. Continue reading »

Apr 082011
 

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist covers a reader-selected song for this blog. Any artists interested in participating, contact us.

[Begin snobbish rant] Music for the average American consumer goes something like this: turn on radio; listen to “Top 40” station; download a 30 second ringtone of a song designed to be catchy to the point of brainwashing. Yes, I know, this is a huge generalization. But, the point is that the amount of great music currently being made is staggering, with unprecedented access to it thanks to the internet, and yet so many people are content with whatever is spoon-fed over the airways (current readers excepted, of course). If you take the time to explore the music you like, you never know what you might find. [End snobbish rant] Continue reading »