Apr 122024
ashley monroe i like trains cover

Fred Eaglesmith is an acclaimed and prolific Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter who is basically unknown in the United States. In Canada, his fans have their own name: Fredheads. But he has only 18 songs is covers database SecondHandSongs – despite releasing 17 studio albums over the last 40 years – and we’ve noted exactly one cover of a song of his, all the way back in 2010, by fellow alt country Canadians Cowboy Junkies. For whatever reason, he just hasn’t been discovered by Americans despite the heavy Americana of his lyrics.

Pistol Annies member Ashley Monroe wants to change that. She recently covered Eaglesmith’s “I like Trains” from his 7th album, 1996’s Drive-In Movie, a song which explicitly references the American South. (As well as, um, trains.)

Eaglesmith’s version has a bit of swing to it, and a proper alt country arrangement, with guitars, bass and drums but also slide guitar and what sounds like a mandolin. Though it’s a country song, it’s got a bit of a post-industrial grime to it. Monroe strips nearly everything away from the original arrangement and replaces it with just her voice and guitar. She also slows the pace down. Eaglesmith’s original performance of the lyric is gravelly and there’s a hint of desperation or frustration. Monroe’s performance is almost mournful in comparison but also sultry. Eaglesmith may have lost his lover and is not sure he’ll ever get her back. Monroe, though sadder, seems like she’s sure they’ll meet again.

Like many similar songwriters of his ilk, Eaglesmith doesn’t have the greatest range as a singer so it’s great to hear a powerful singer take on one of Eaglesmith’s songs. Check it out below:

Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>