Nov 202015
 

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

bob ramona

Bob Dylan scholars have determined that “To Ramona” is a song about Joan Baez; Dylan’s warning her that the folk protest movement will draw her in deep, but he recognizes that she doesn’t necessarily have a problem with that, and much as he loves and wants her, he has to let her think for herself, both for her sake and for his. That’s a pretty specific interpretation, yet the song resounds in the hearts of thousands, millions, as a love song they can relate to their own lives, in their own ways. It speaks to Dylan’s genius that he can draw the universal from the singular instead of the other way around.
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Feb 212014
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

Over 40 years after its initial release, the Rolling Stones song “Wild Horses” still thunders across the forefront of popular culture. Its appeal lies as much in its lyrical ambiguity as in the music itself. Is it about Keith’s contrition for leaving his newborn son at home for yet another tour? Is it about Marianne Faithfull? Maybe it’s about some other graceless lady, a nameless muse immortalized between the bars of Mick Taylor’s Nashville-tuned guitars. Whatever the case, “Wild Horses” endures – not just for its beauty, but because it enables listeners to imbue it with their own experiences, however bitter or sweet. It’ll go on living long after we die, and nothing could drag it away.
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Oct 252011
 

Members of the recent folk revival like to paint visionaries like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bluegrass legends like Del McCoury as their forefathers. Really, though, aside from the “newgrass” groups like the Avett Brothers with their traditional instrumentation, most of today’s mellow acoustic guitar-strumming folk bands draw more from the sometimes maligned folk-rock trend of the later ’60s and ’70s, with bands like Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and their offshoot The Flying Burrito Brothers. In their new Daytrotter session Vetiver embraces this heritage, covering “Here Tonight,” a song that Byrds songwriter Gene Clark wrote for his former bandmates in the Burrito Brothers. Continue reading »

May 272011
 

Dylan Covers A-Z presents covers of every single Bob Dylan song. View the full series here.

Oh mama, can this really be the end? After one heck of a week, we reach the finale today. This last set of 50+ covers makes it official: Cover Me now includes covers of every single Bob Dylan song, in alphabetical order. 279 songs in 50-60 song chunks. It’s never been done before and, given how much work it took, it probably won’t be again (at least not by us).

We’re not sure if this last set is the best of the bunch, but it’s up there. From Jimi Hendrix’s just-unearthed “Tears of Rage” to Elliott Smith’s transcendent “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” there’s a lot to love here. So join us in our final celebration of Dylan’s birthday with one more cup of covers. Once again, happy birthday Bob.

Sidebar: We’re guessing you maybe fell behind on a song or two these past four days. After all, listening to these all would take more than 15 hours. So here are links to the full set for you to peruse this weekend.
Part 1: “Absolutely Sweet Marie” – “Everything Is Broken”
Part 2: “Father of Night” – “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”
Part 3: “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” – “Oxford Town”
Part 4: “Peggy Day” – “Sweetheart Like You”
Part 5: “T.V Talkin’ Song” – “4th Time Around”

Continued on Page 2…

Dec 222010
 

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

Hailing from the barren Canadian wilderness – make that the suburbs of Toronto – the Cowboy Junkies have come a long way in the 25 years since they formed. Clichéd though it may be, they recorded their first album, 1986’s Whites Off Earth Now!, in an actual garage. The band, consisting of the three Timmins and a friend on bass, have always featured cover tunes as an essential part of their repertoire, from the blues tracks on Whites, to their breakthrough version of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”, to their upcoming collection of Vic Chesnutt covers.

For the latest edition of the Live Collection, we sifted through the Live Music Archive to bring you a set that spans the Junkies’ entire career (right up to a Chesnutt cover from October). Dedicated fans may not gasp at the song selection; the band does not throw in novelty “Like A Virgin” or “Run To The Hills” covers. Instead, they honor more obvious influences such as Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. However, the casual listener who only knows the band through their one platinum album (1988’s The Trinity Session) may not expect the darkness of “State Trooper” or the foreboding of Robert Johnson’s “32-20 Blues”. Continue reading »