Sep 222011

Clearance Alert is a joint series with Limelight, “the simplest way to clear any cover song.” It spotlights new cover songs licensed through the company. Find out more at Limelight.

Rolling Stone ranked “Love and Happiness,” Al Green’s horn-fueled blast of feel-good soul, the 98th best song ever written. On her new cover, though, Madison, WI singer/songwriter/ukulele player Alicia Lemke sounds anything but intimidated. Poppy ukulele rhythms take center stage in what starts delicate and swells to a full-throated rhythm-pop production. She describes the story behind the song:

When I was looking for a cover to do for my EP Imaginary, I decided that tackling a song like Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” had the potential to be incredibly rewarding because of its challenge. Being a female ukuele/guitar player in a completely different genre of music would force me to take the classic R&B hit and rearrange it in a totally unique way. And in fact I struggled with the song for a whole week before any inspiration struck. Very suddenly one morning at 5 am, I awoke, grabbed my ukulele, and (at the expense of my roommates) shed the tune. I arranged it into a 3-minute acoustic version, recorded a scratch track, and that was it – I was sold. It allowed me to tap into a completely different side of my musicianship. So thanks, Al!

Lemke clearly made some changes since then. The sound of a 5 a.m. jam session this ain’t. Check out her version of “Love and Happiness” below.

Alicia Lemke – Love and Happiness (Al Green cover)

Buy Alica Lemke’s ‘Imaginary’ EP at iTunes or Amazon.

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  2 Responses to “Clearance Alert: Alicia Lemke Goes Ukulele-Soul on Al Green’s “Love and Happiness””

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  1. This woman is amazing, you should get her EP and listen to all of her songs. She is a brilliant songwriter as well. Great things to come from her.

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