Apr 062020
tallest man jesus etc

“Jesus Etc.” is one of the catchier tracks from Wilco’s (in)famous Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. YHF was the album which got them expelled from their label, only to be streamed free on the internet by the band and become a consensus pick for best album of 2001 (and, finally, land them at another label that was part of the same parent label that kicked them out in the first place!). The song has remained a staple of their live shows for years and is a fan favourite.

The Tallest Man on Earth, aka Kristian Matsson, is a folk musician from Sweden. Like so many, his tour was cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19. Like numerous other musicians, he has taken to social media to perform instead.

His cover of “Jesus Etc.” is mostly simple. He has rearranged the music for solo acoustic guitar, playing with the tempo and feel of the song, while mostly keeping the vocal melody intact. However, he plays with the vocal, especially when he gets to the bridge. Though the performance seems live at first, he has actually added an additional instrument, what sounds like a keyboard, for the climax, and some visual flourishes, so it’s not just him sitting on an ottoman. His performance is both familiar and very distinct from the original song.

He has taken stabs at some other songs, including “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”, which you can check out on Instagram.

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