Aug 082016

This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz final concert and to celebrate, NYC’s Lincoln Center hosted an all-star tribute concert Saturday night. Held down by Levon Helm’s longstanding Midnight Ramble Band, special guests included Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, and even Dr. John, reprising the song he sang at the original Last Waltz. Continue reading »

Jun 142012

The Hollows are a roots-rock group of multi-instrumentalists; a freewheeling hootenany of a band. A veritable junkyard of mandolins, banjos, guitars, accordions, horns, harmonicas, and various other musical doodads are in constant rotation. With no frontman (or six frontmen), everyone writes and arranges material, creating a diverse and uniquely blended sound. Continue reading »

Aug 172011

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Once in a generation there comes a song so good, so perfectly written and arranged, that it transcends pure aural pleasure and becomes an anthem. The Band’s “The Weight” is one of those songs, without question – Easy Rider, anyone? If that doesn’t make you want to take a Harley across state lines, what would? Continue reading »

Jun 202011

In 1970, Steve Goodman wrote a song describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans which many deem the best train song ever written. In 1972 Steve pitched “City of New Orleans” to Arlo Guthrie, who recorded and released it on his album Hobo’s Lullaby. Twelve years later, Willie Nelson had a number one country single hit with his version, earning Steve Goodman a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Continue reading »

Jul 022010

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

I’ll be reporting on the new Nateva festival this weekend (follow @rayfp for updates). Furthur, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s latest group, headlines the jam fest, so a Grateful Dead cover seemed appropriate. This here’s one of the best.

Levon Helm, the voice behind the Band‘s “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” has staged a remarkable comeback recently. After a decade battling throat cancer, he has released two terrific albums in the last couple years. His latest, Electric Dirt, kicks off with a swinging “Tennessee Jed.”
Continue reading »

Jun 302009
This Week’s News
The first news is a friendly reminder that you have less than 12 more hours to download from this blog!  All the archived mp3s will vanish as of Wednesday (sad I know), so use this guide to help you get started.  You don’t have long, so go nuts.
The second bit of news is to look for a unique tribute to a certain someone tomorrow night.
In a less self-centered vein, a cappella covers are hit or miss, but these two nail it.  First up we’ve got Perpetuum Jazzile conjuring up the sounds of a storm with Toto’s “Africa” and then there’s the Carleton Singing Knights (who came up with that moniker) trying to wrap their collegiate voices around Dirty Projectors’ “Cannibal Resource.”
Beck’s going on a cover rampage these days.  First came the news that he’d recorded more Sonic Youth covers to follow up the “Green Light” he released on Record Store Day.  In fact, he decided to go whole hog and just cover the Youth’s whole EVOL album for an upcoming box set.  The catch?  His version will be released on cassette only.  I understand vinyl nostalgia, but cassette?
He does understand new technology though, as he is demonstrating with his just-launched Record Club where he and a group of collaborators (including MGMT and Devandra Banhart) will cover classic albums one track at a time.  First up is The Velvet Underground & Nico, with videos of “Sunday Morning” and “I’m Waiting For the Man” already up at his website.  A new tune comes every week, then onto the next album.
If you read my other blog, you know I can’t get enough My Morning Jacket.  Jim James’ voice makes my soul melt, so hearing that he’s working up an EP of George Harrison covers (as “Yim Yames”) made me a happy fan indeed.
For those of you who prefer your pleasures a little guiltier, get secretly stoked for the upcoming Killers cover album.  They’re still working on the disc, but it’s looking like a real grab back with the potential for Genesis, Tom Waits, and Fleet Foxes tunes.  While you wait, revisit some of their old covers: Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits), Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town (The First Edition) and Shadowplay (Joy Division).
Don’t know how I missed this back in April, but join me in catching up with Paste’s “50 Best Bob Dylan Covers of All Time.”  Debate away!
Even that list is too narrowly defined for Britain’s Telegraph though, which has come up with their own set of the 50 best covers ever period!  I’m sure you’ll agree with every one.
Pissed off by those lists?  Here’s a 50-best-covers list compiled by Guardian readers.
One more list, but a funnier one.  Humor video site Urlesque has come up with a group of “Bohemian Rhapsody” covers that range from the bizarre to the really bizarre.  Ukulele, ok.  Clarinet, pushing it but fine.  But a Queen cover by hand fart?  Must be seen to be believed.
I haven’t heard this yet myself, but this Headless Heroes cover album sounds like a winner.  Just FYI.
Cover lovers everywhere are in constant debt to Rick Rubin for producing Johnny Cash’s phenomenal American Recordings series, so much so that he can almost be forgiven for his recent work with Metallica and Weezer.  And if David Crosby is to be believed, the upcoming Crosby, Stills and Nash cover album he’s behind should be a winner as well.  Hear Crosby sound off.
I’ve never heard of the Monochrome Set, I’ve never heard of “He’s Frank,” but this cover by Fatboy Slim, Iggy Pop and the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is all sorts of awesome.  They’ve got a Letterman take too, but it’s just not the same without Tuba Gooding, Jr.
This Week’s Submissions