Ray Padgett

Ray Padgett founded the blog Cover Me in 2007 and has run it ever since, growing it into the largest blog devoted to cover songs on the web. His music writing has appeared in the New Yorker, SPIN, MTV, Vice, Mojo, and more and he’s been interviewed as an expert on cover songs by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and SiriusXM. He lives in Burlington, Vermont and also works as a publicist for Shore Fire Media. His book Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time is out now. His 33 1/3 book on tribute albums and Leonard Cohen is out September 3, 2020. Find more info on him and the books here.

Jun 242022
 
ashley monroe silver springs

“Silver Springs” started life as a little-known Rumours outtake, but, since its inclusion on 1997 blockbuster live album The Dance, has become a certified Fleetwood Mac classic. Lykke Li’s cover landed at number two on our Best Fleetwood Mac Covers Ever list, and everyone from Tori Amos to Florence and the Machine has taken a crack at it too. The latest comes from country star Ashley Monroe, who in addition to her own solo music makes up one-third of Pistol Annies alongside Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley. Continue reading »

Jun 142022
 
guster mike gordon

Over the weekend at a show in Essex Junction, Vermont, Guster frontman Ryan Miller joked that, with two of their four members now living in Vermont, maybe they were more of a Vermont band than Phish – which, though they famously formed in the state, also now has only two of the four members living there. A few songs later, he sealed the Vermont-cred deal by bringing out one of those two, Phish bassist Mike Gordon. Gordon jammed a bit on Guster original “Ruby Falls,” then they broke into a cover of the Pixies classic “Here Comes Your Man.” Continue reading »

May 312022
 
cover songs may 2022
Arcade Fire – As It Was (Harry Styles cover)

We kick off this month’s list with not one but two Harry Styles covers! And both performed for the BBC Live Lounge, no less, which clearly went all-in on promoting Harry’s new solo album. First up is Arcade Fire, also currently doing the promo rounds for their own new album, tackling Harry’s new song “As It Were.” It speaks to how much classic-rock Styles has in his DNA that the song fits perfectly in Arcade Fire’s anthemic-rock template. Never ones to not go out, the cover features multiple twelve-string guitars and a dude playing a giant rack of tubes with a hammer. Continue reading »

May 272022
 

Rarely Covered looks at who’s mining the darkest, dustiest corners of iconic catalogs.

bob dylan 1990s

Today concludes our weeklong series celebrating the weirdos who skip over “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Make You Feel My Love” to cover the strangest, oddest, most obscure songs in the vast Bob Dylan catalog.

We’re cramming a couple decades into this finale, for a simple reason. If you’ve been following along, you know the primary criteria for inclusion has been that the song hasn’t been released on an album. Well, recent years simply don’t have that many non-album tracks. And some of the best – “Huck’s Tune,” “Tell Ol’ Bill,” etc – haven’t ever been covered well. So we’re loosening the restrictions a little bit today, mixing covers of some recent-album deep cuts in with the usual oddities and outtakes. Continue reading »

May 262022
 

Rarely Covered looks at who’s mining the darkest, dustiest corners of iconic catalogs.

bob dylan 1980s

Here’s part four of our five-part series on great covers of Dylan songs practically no one covers. If you need to catch up, start at the beginning!

Robbie Fulks – Ain’t Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody

Robbie Fulks knows his rarely-covered Dylan; a few years ago he covered every song on Bob’s 1978 album Street Legal. Other than maybe “Señor,” no one covers those tunes! In 2016, he did an entire concert of Christian Dylan songs at iconic Chicago venue The Hideout. He dug deeper than just the Saved or Shot of Love tracks (or Slow Train Coming, which I covered in the ’70s post). That includes Bob’s hidden fire-and-brimstone gem “Ain’t Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody.” Continue reading »

May 252022
 

Rarely Covered looks at who’s mining the darkest, dustiest corners of iconic catalogs.

bob dylan 1970s

Part three of our Rarely Covered Dylan Songs series – after the Early and Late 1960s – sees us hit the era of Blood on the Tracks, Desire, and Bob’s first gospel album. But this doesn’t include songs from any of them! As with the first two installments, our definition of what Dylan song could qualify as “rarely covered” starts at “not on a proper album” and expands (or, rather, constricts) from there. So below, covers of outtakes and oddities from Bob’s second decade. Continue reading »