Nov 042010

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Formed in 1991 at the University of Vermont, Strangefolk has released five studio albums, a few live ones, and hosted their own annual music festival. Their music falls in the realm of rock, blues, folk, and bluegrass…okay, fine, they’re a jam band. They have a strong and loyal following that has spawned the charitable organization Strangers Helping Strangers, which collects non-perishable food items at their concerts and donates them to local food banks. For over 10 years, the volunteer-run organization has been aiding communities and their work has extended beyond Strangefolk gigs, partnering with dozens of other bands to achieve their goals. Busy guys.

At their own Garden of Eden festival in 2006, Strangefolk first performed a full set of Led Zeppelin covers under the moniker The Tells. The Tells have popped up a few times since to perform all-cover sets of Zeppelin (again), The Raconteurs (with a couple bonus covers of The White Stripes), and the Grateful Dead. Even under their own name, Strangefolk have no qualms about pulling out a cover or two during their live sets.

Fortunately, like many jam bands, Strangefolk has a liberal taping policy and an extensive presence on the Live Music Archive. While most of these covers are fairly solid, they’re not going to make you forget the originals anytime soon; but we won’t knock anyone who goes out of their way to pay tribute to Jack White or Led Zeppelin.

MP3: Strangefolk – Hey Hey What Can I Do (Led Zeppelin cover)
MP3: Strangefolk – Houses of the Holy (Led Zeppelin cover)
MP3: Strangefolk – Old Enough (The Raconteurs cover)
MP3: Strangefolk – My Doorbell (The White Stripes cover)
MP3: Strangefolk – It Must Have Been the Roses (Grateful Dead cover)
MP3: Strangefolk – Ripple (Grateful Dead cover)

Check out the setlists below along with links to download the full shows:

Strangefolk (as the Tells) – Led Zeppelin I
Camp Kee Wa Nee – Greenfield, MA 9/15/06

01. Kashmir
02. What is and What Should Never Be
03. Hey Hey What Can I Do
04. Thank You
05. Heartbreaker
06. D’yer Mak’er
07. Down by the Seaside
08. Misty Mountain Hop
09. Tangerine
10. Houses of the Holy
11. Custard Pie

Strangefolk (as the Tells) – Led Zeppelin II
Higher Ground – Burlington, VT 10/7/06

01. Custard Pie
02. Hey Hey What Can I Do
03. D’yer Mak’er
04. Tangerine
05. Misty Mountain Hop
06. Down by the Seaside
07. Thank You
08. Heartbreaker
09. Houses of the Holy
10. What is and What Should Never Be

Strangefolk (as the Tells) – The Raconteurs & The White Stripes
Camp Kee Wa Nee – Greenfield, MA 9/25/08

01. Steady As She Goes
02. Hands
03. The Denial Twist
04. Yellow Sun
05. Old Enough
06. You Don’t Understand Me
07. Top Yourself
08. Level
09. My Doorbell

Strangefolk (as the Tells) – The Grateful Dead’s Reckoning
Camp Kee Wa Nee – Greenfield, MA 5/24/09

01. Dire Wolf
02. The Race Is On
03. It Must Have Been The Roses
04. Dark Hollow
05. China Doll
06. Monkey and The Engineer
07. Jack-A-Roe
08. Deep Elem Blues
09. Cassidy
10. To Lay Me Down
11. On The Road Again
12. Bird Song
13. Ripple

Check out more Strangefolk — I mean “The Tells” — at their website or MySpace.

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