Aug 222018
 

In Pick Five, great artists pick five cover songs that matter to them.

david olney cover songs

In 1991, Townes Van Zandt wrote the following: “Anytime anyone asks me who my favorite music writers are, I say Mozart, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bob Dylan, and Dave Olney. Dave Olney is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard — and that’s true. I mean that from my heart.”

Twenty-seven years later, Townes is gone, but Olney keeps on keepin’ on. He may not have become a household name in that time, but his reputation among his peers has only grown. Emmylou Harris has sung three of his songs. Linda Ronstadt tackled a pair herself. When Steve Earle covered Olney’s “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,” he noted it took him four or five years of playing the song before he realized it was “so perfectly constructed that it doesn’t have a rhyme in it.” He added that Olney was “one of the best songwriters in the world.” Continue reading »

May 092018
 

In Pick Five, great artists tell us about five cover songs that matter to them.

david ford covers

Plenty of musicians write songs about politics. Fewer write songs about economics. But that’s the subject of all ten tracks on British singer-songwriter David Ford’s new album Animal Spirits, out Friday.

If an album about markets and trickle-down theory sounds kind of, well, dry – it isn’t. At all. Like all of his albums, Animal Spirits is brilliant: bluesy barn-stormers mixed with a few wedding-worthy love songs. Check out the title track: Continue reading »

Nov 132012
 

Who is Mike Doughty? The ex-frontman of Soul Coughing? An acoustic singer/songwriter? An acclaimed poet and writer? The latest offering from Mr. Doughty, whoever he may be, is The Flip Is Another Honey, a smattering of cover tunes ranging from John Denver to Cheap Trick to Guys and Dolls. And, as you may expect, Doughty will break some rules. Continue reading »

Oct 202010
 

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

Amidst the hoopla about “Somewhere,” “Maria,” and syncopated snapping, one West Side Story classic often gets lost in the Jets-Shark shuffle: “Gee, Officer Krupke.” A rare moment of levity in the musical’s bleak second act, the song gives the Jets a chance to explain where they come from. It’s a catchy romp, with plenty of authority-figure impersonations, but between the laughs it points to the cycle of poverty and neglect that leads young people to gang life.

Puttin’ on the Ritz open their 2008 covers album Bangin’ into the Future with this Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim gem. The “Outsider Jazz Duo” becomes a quintet for irreverent covers of “Earth Angel,” “The Rainbow Connection,” and nine more. For “Gee, Officer Krupke” a trumpet bloops and blaps along amidst all the anti-authoritarian shouting. Gee, Officer Krupke….krup you! Continue reading »