Jun 212010

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

I’d never heard of Samm Bennett until he posted a link on Cover Me’s Facebook page (moral: submit your stuff). The sights and sounds that greeted me at his YouTube page knocked me out. The song was Elvis’ early hit “All Shook Up,” twisted to a form both familiar and unsettling. Over a sludge-guitar riff, Bennett gestures and jerks like a homeless guy at the subway station. If Tim Burton made an Elvis biopic with the guy who directed I’m Not There, it might look like this.

A little exploring led to two more gems, both equally well conceived, recorded, and produced. His version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” does the impossible: it reinvents the most clichéd cover ever. Bennett does so by tossing out the original melody entirely, singing a tune you’re only half sure he planned in advance. Finally, there’s “I’m Waiting for the Man.” This cover stays slightly more faithful, to the extent that a Velvet Underground song played with a two-string cigar box guitar and jawharp can.

Check out all three videos below. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Samm Bennett – All Shook Up (Elvis cover)

Samm Bennett – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)

Samm Bennett – I’m Waiting for the Man (Velvet Underground cover)

Check out more Samm Bennett at YouTube.

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  4 Responses to “Under the Radar: Samm Bennett”

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  1. Very original and creative covers…great stuff!

  2. Great stuff! I’ve been a fan since I came across his stuff on the music section of MetaFilter. He goes by the name flapjax at midnite. You can hear some songs here: http://www.metafilter.com/activity/39010/posts/music/

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