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.

Oct 032022
 
best cover songs september 2022
Confidence Man – Heaven (Bryan Adams cover)

For their recent Like a Version performance, Confidence Man, a duo of Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, covered Bryan Adam’s “Heaven.” Well, sort of. They really took their cues from the hit club cover of “Heaven” by DJ Sammy. “We didn’t actually know [it was a cover],” said Planet. “Stu, our manager – who’s old – told us that. We listened to [the original], and it’s not that good.” Ouch! But their cover is a blast to watch, all charisma, choreography, and energy from the two of them in front of an ominously veiled band. As NME points out, Confidence Man are the third act a a cover of a cover on the show. In 2017, Alex Lahey covered Natalie Imbruglia’s hit cover of Ednaswap’s non-hit “Torn” (we wrote a feature explaining the backstory there). And in 2018, garage-rock septet West Thebarton covered Florence + The Machine‘s cover of The Source and Candi Staton’s “You’ve Got the Love.” Continue reading »

Sep 202022
 
j hacha de zola harry styles

Jersey City musical madman J Hacha De Zola has a knack for covering pop tunes. In the past few years, we’ve heard him cover Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and Milli Vanilli. Only one thing unites those covers: They sound nothing like the original artists. No matter his source material, he’s more likely to invoke garage rock or Tom Waits than he is the Top 40 charts. And that holds on his latest, a wild reimagining of Harry Styles’ monster hit “As It Was” complete with pounding percussion, spooky vocals, and a big flamenco-horn finish. Continue reading »

Aug 312022
 
Eddie Vedder – Long Shadow (Joe Strummer cover)

This month, Joe Strummer would have turned 70. In a few weeks, Dark Horse Records will release the compilation Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years. To promote it, director Lance Bangs filmed a video of Eddie Vedder covering the posthumously-released Mescaleros track “Long Shadow.” It’s a simple fireside performance, similar to Vedder buddy Neil Young’s lockdown videos, and hopefully will bring more attention to a lesser known non-Clash track from the Strummer catalog. Continue reading »

Aug 262022
 
deer scout suspended

It’s been a big summer for Kate Bush covers. More specifically, it’s been a big summer for covers of one Kate Bush song: “Running Up That Hill,” made viral by its prominent usage in Stranger Things. As Hope Silverman noted in her recent Hounds of Love feature, there’s a lot more to the Bush ouvre than this massive four-decades-delayed hit though. UK listeners have long known this, of course, but she’s been largely relegated to “cult act” in America (it’s probably why she keeps losing votes to get her in the Rock Hall). Continue reading »

Aug 252022
 
nathaniel rateliff famous blue raincoat

The first taste of all-star tribute album Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, James Taylor’s “Coming Back to You,” felt a bit underwhelming. The second, Nathaniel Rateliff’s just-released “Famous Blue Raincoat,” holds more promise. It also showcases why this is coming out on revered jazz label Blue Note Records, as Rateliff is backed not by his usual rave-up soul band the Night Sweats, but by a tight combo, including Bill Frisell on guitar and some beautiful solos by Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone. Continue reading »

Aug 102022
 
covers post malone

Post Malone’s making waves across the pop-country spectrum this week, covering and getting covered by two country-music icons. Most recently, Sheryl Crow released a cover of his 2019 hit “Circles.” It’s far from the first country take on the song – Billy Strings’ version landed on our Best Covers of 2020 list – but this one sounds like it could actually be a country music radio hit circa 1994. Crow says it has a “fun summer vibe,” adding on Twitter, “I’m such a fan of Post Malone’s songwriting.” Continue reading »