Mar 142011
 

The Stray Cats led a rockabilly revival in the early ‘80s, infusing the ’50s genre with a punk sensibility to create a movement that persists today. Following the breakup of the Cats in 1984, bassist Lee Rocker has continued to pursue music, both as backup for musical luminaries like George Harrison, Carl Perkins and Keith Richards, and as a solo artist. For his latest release, The Cover Sessions EP, he recorded six tracks by artists like the Beatles, Elton John and the Allman Brothers.

Rocker’s result, while enjoyable, doesn’t break much ground. He gives the opening track, The Beatles “Come Together,” the biggest makeover. Stripping the song of its trademark bass riff, he powers it instead with harmonica and a quick guitar pulse over a steady shuffle beat. Together, it complements John Lennon’s proto-rap verses surprisingly well. He deconstructs the chord progression in the chorus as well, without losing the punch of the original. Continue reading »

Jan 172011
 

January 2011 looks to be a big month for cover albums, with big-name artists dropping new ones left and right. Perhaps everyone was waiting for the Christmas season to be over. Last month, non-holiday covers were a rare breed indeed. After umpteen “The First Noel” and “Last Christmas” covers though, some blues and rockabilly tunes prove as refreshing as a rum and coca cola. Continue reading »

Sep 142010
 

You all submit so many great covers it’s hard to keep up. When we fall behind, we gather the best and brightest in a Submission Roundup.

Our inbox is just about bursting. You guys send so many great songs I wish we could feature them all individually. Sadly, we can’t. Instead, we’re beginning a new feature: Submissions Roundup. It’s just what it sounds like: a barebones post collecting all the submissions we didn’t want to fall through the cracks. Next to each, you’ll find a link to the artist’s website.

Do you have something to submit? Send it along here! Continue reading »

Sep 032010
 

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

You think Vermont music, you might think flanneled hippies strumming mandolins. Not Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. They may come from the great wooded north, but their big soul sound comes straight from Dixie with a side of south-side Chicago. Potter is a vocal tour de force, a skinny white girl with an enormous voice. She can do a two-hour show without fading a bit and her hot four-piece band keeps right in step. Searing guitar solos abound, but nothing can upstage that voice.

Through years of near-constant touring, the band has amassed quite a stack of covers. In our latest Live Collection, we collect every concert cover we could find (thanks archive.org!). That includes blasts through Blondie, My Morning Jacket, and a whole lot of Neil Young – including a 14-minute “Cortez the Killer” that should be required listening for any rock band. Josh Ritter joins the band on John Prine’s “Pretty Good,” but otherwise they don’t need any help in blowing the roof off any building they play.

As a special bonus, below the main set we have the thematic new covers from their 2009 New Year’s Eve show. The band had clearly been spinning the Top Gun soundtrack a lot; they cover seven songs from the darn thing! And not just the original soundtrack either. The band apparently took to the 1999 Special Edition CD, cause they run through three of the four old-school bonus tracks as well. In between ’80s classics like “Take My Breath Away” and “Danger Zone,” the band throws out Top Gun lines as a wink to clued-in audience members. “This is Ghost Rider requesting permission for a flyby!” Permission granted. Continue reading »