Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows has long worn his influences on his sleeve, and the band often does live covers of their favorite artists. If you are an aspiring artist, head over to Indabamusic where you have until March 1st to submit your own Counting Crows cover for the chance at a signed Squier guitar, $600 to Guitar Center, and inclusion of your song on an EP. If you’re not into making music, you can head over and start listening to the submissions. Cover Me veteran Allison Crowe has already submitted a stunning version of “Raining in Baltimore.“
This April, the Crows will be releasing their own album of nothing but covers, titled Underwater Sunshine. Originally called Under the Covers (which Duritz nixed for its lack of originality), the album is a mix of new and familiar. Alongside the not-so-surprising covers of Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, and Big Star are covers of small acts like Romany Rye and Kasey Anderson and the Honkies. The band is also covering a couple of pseudo-Crows acts, like Sordid Humor, for whom Duritz sang backing vocals before his days with Counting Crows, and which included Crows guitarist David Immergluck and former bassist Marty Jones.
The first track released from the upcoming album, “Mercy,” is one of two covers of the band Tender Mercies. Tender Mercies is the side project of Crows’ guitarist Dan Vickrey and drummer Jim Bogios, who started playing in the band before the Crows formed, and whose music was often covered by Duritz and the gang before they had much original material. Tender Mercies officially released their debut album last fall (20 years in the making), and Counting Crows’ version of “Mercy” retains the folksy sound of the original. Duritz’s telltale voice, some piano and chiming guitars give the song a little more of an arena anthem sound, but otherwise, it’s very true to the original. The song is pleasant, if safe, and if you are a fan of what Counting Crows do, it will whet your appetite for the new album. Download it for the price of an email and find the full tracklist below.
Underwater Sunshine track listing:
Untitled (Love Song) by Romany Rye
Start Again by Teenage Fanclub
Hospital by Coby Brown
Mercy by Tender Mercies
Meet On The Ledge by Fairport Convention
Like Teenage Gravity by Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
Amie by Pure Prairie League
Coming Around by Travis
Ooh La La by The Faces
All My Failures by Dawes
Return of the Grievous Angel by Gram Parsons
Four White Stallions by Tender Mercies
Jumping Jesus by Sordid Humor
You Ain’t Going Nowhere by Bob Dylan
The Ballad of El Goodo by Big Star
Check out more Counting Crows at their website.