Feb 102016
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

sons of bill

Sons of Bill hails from Charlottesville, Virginia. The band was formed by brothers James, Sam, and Abe Wilson, whose father Bill is a professor of theology and Southern literature at the University of Virginia. The lineup, filled out by Seth Green and Todd Wellons, has honed their sound across four albums. Their latest, Love and Logic, is a huge step forward in the band’s literary and thoughtful brand of Southern rock. Ken Coomer, of Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, produced the record, saying it “takes [him] back to some of the creative heights” he found with the latter band. That’s high praise indeed, but Sons of Bill deserves it. They’ve toured the States and Europe relentlessly, working hard to win fans over one at a time both with their original music and with a selection of covers. The songs they choose reflect their wide range of influences. Here’s some of their best cover work.

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Jun 152012
 

Iron & Wine have already released a cover of George Michael’s “One More Try” for Two Sides of George, their limited edition 7” as part of Suicide Squeeze’s singles series. The recently released B-side is “Trouble” by Little Feat (written by Lowell George, in case you were wondering how the George part played in). Pre-order of the 7” is already sold out. Continue reading »

Nov 112010
 

The story of the modern Veterans Day begins in 1953 at a Kansas shoe store. Up until then, every November 11th Americans celebrated Armistice Day, a holiday commemorating the signing of the treaty that ended World War I. By the 1950s though, with a second World War come and gone, folks were less keen on remembering a peace that – oh yeah – didn’t work so well.

Enter Alfred King. The shoe salesman in Emporia, Kansas (2000 Census population: 26,760) had a son fight in World War II and decided that veterans, who didn’t die (after all, they had Memorial Day), deserved celebrating more than a failed treaty. He campaigned tirelessly to change the holiday, starting at home; in 1953, Emporia became the first town in America to celebrate Veterans Day. The idea caught on and, with help from a local congressman, the issue moved to Washington. On October 8, 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower officially changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. All thanks to one small-town shoe salesman. Continue reading »

Nov 012010
 

“We may have learned more from Little Feat than any other band.”

So wrote Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio in last night’s Phishbill (pictured above), the program announcing their set in Atlantic City. As they do every year, they surprised the audience with a classic album set. Pre-show speculation suggested they might play Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage or Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but the band surprised everyone by performing a very unsurprising choice: Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus. Little Feat’s 1978 live album included fan favorites from throughout their discography, making it a smart pick to showcase a relatively little-known band (at least compared to previous picks: the Stones, the Beatles, the Who, and Talking Heads).

For a full ninety minutes the quartet jammed through all eighteen cuts. Well, technically seventeen – they played Little Feat’s recording of opening cut “Join the Band” as their walk-on music. Sixteen of those were Phish debuts (they’ve played “Time Love a Hero” before). Check out their runs through “Dixie Chicken,” “Tripe Face Boogie,” and “Rocket in My Pocket” below. Each song features a five-piece horn section, just like original album did. If you like what you hear (you will), download the full set from LivePhish.com. Continue reading »