Dec 112014

Some cover songs you know are going to fall short. However good the attempt is, all it’s going to do is remind you how good the original was. Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” is one of those songs that, generally speaking, shouldn’t be covered. There are a handful out there, but the only cover truly worth noting is one by The Del McCoury Band. Their version is a bluegrass foot-tapper that fits the song perfectly.

Enter baritone-voiced Sean Rowe with a colorful, tape adorned acoustic guitar amped to the point of distortion. Instead of trying to copy Thompson’s finger-picking approach, Rowe wisely opts to keep pick in hand and use an open tuning, allowing him to travel up and down the neck while keeping the sound full. He plays with the phrasing and dynamics of the lyrics, but doesn’t venture too far afield. It’s a passionate and intense performance. The last two minutes is all guitar; though a little sloppy at times, it builds up like a motorcycle increasing speed, motor revving, about to explode.

Check out Sean Rowe at his Anti Records website or on facebook.

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  9 Responses to “Sean Rowe Revs up his Guitar for “1952 Vincent Black Lightning””

Comments (9)
  1. is Sean rowes version of Richard thompsons Vincent black lightning on any of his albums if not why not its fuckin superb

  2. Need to find a way to buy this song need it on my phone it’s the best cover ever of 1952 Vincent

  3. What type of open tuning is it? What key?

    • Did you find out what key Sean’s tuning is in? Can’t work it out. Love his version, what a performance.

      • he’s in drop D both 1st and 6th string and capo on 3rd fret (though the youtube video has him down 1/2 step and capo at 2nd fret)

        • Not drop D im afraid brian , i cant figure it, closest i can get is open F but its still not right.

  4. Agreed i enjoy this version much better than any.but then i drive a 2006 street glide (black)
    would love to play this at our bike ride/fund raiser and would like to play it exactly the way Sean does.

  5. Richard Thompson plays this in an alternate tuning – with low E dropped to C. While I agree, the best cover is the one done by Del McCoury and his band, Restless Kelly has a pretty good cover as well!

  6. Man this guy is great I love this version

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