Nov 292021
 
willie nelson all things must pass

“All Things Must Pass” is one of George Harrison’s signature solo songs, but by all rights, it should have been a Beatles tune. In the new documentary The Beatles: Get Back, there are scenes of the group working on the track in rehearsal. After the Fab Four opted not to record it, Billie Preston released a version on his 1970 album Encouraging Words. The song was later immortalized as the title track to Harrison’s 1972 solo album. Now, fifty years later, it almost seems like an understatement to call “All Things Must Pass” a classic. The track is both timeless and timely, a secular hymn, meditating on the brevity of beauty, love and time itself.

Willie Nelson knows a thing or two about the passage of time. The country music legend released his first album in 1962, several months before the Beatles dropped their debut Please Please Me. Nelson has continued putting out records at a furious pace over the last few decades. For his latest, The Willie Nelson Family, he enlisted the talents of his children. The album has the feel and consistency of many of Nelson’s recent offers, not exactly breaking new ground but still compelling enough to warrant a listen. The album features multiple gospel recordings including takes on Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” and “Keep It On the Sunny Side,” a hymn made famous by the Carter Family.

Wedged in between the many tracks about Jesus is a cover of Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass.” Willie’s son Lukas Nelson takes on the lead vocal duties, with Willie providing backup. The two deliver a quiet, passionate rendition of Harrison’s masterwork that feels like it’s been part of their family repertoire for decades.

Click here to listen to more covers by and of Willie Nelson.

Nov 292021
 
Spoon The Beatles Christmas Time

There’s a whole lot of Beatles gift-giving, and crate-digging, going on this holiday season. This past weekend saw the streaming release of The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jackson’s three-part documentary series that dives deep into hours of new archival footage from the Let It Be sessions. The mondo series purports to shine a more constructive light on what has previously been agreed upon to be a sour period in the band’s arc. Continue reading »

Nov 222021
 
rise against fortunate son

As a part of their new EP Nowhere Sessions, Chicago punk rockers Rise Against have covered the Creedance Clearwater Revival classic, “Fortunate Son.” Released in time for Veterans Day, the track has a special meaning for the band. Said lead singer Tim McIlrath: “We actually used to cover ‘Fortunate Son’ in our early basement days. To me, the song represents one of the best examples of mixing music and politics together so seamlessly that nobody questions it.” Continue reading »

Nov 192021
 
verite teenage dream

What do Sufjan Stevens and Katy Perry have in common? Well, they both have their roots in the Christian music world for one (Danielson Famile, “Katy Hudson”). And now a second: They’ve both been given terrific covers by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Kelsey Byrne aka VÉRITÉ. When we last heard from her, she was covering Sufjan’s “John, My Beloved” – it made our Best of 2018 list – and now she’s back tackling Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Continue reading »

Nov 182021
 
Lake Street Dive Hall & Oates

Lake Street Dive‘s annual Halloween cover videos have grown increasingly elaborate with each passing year. Past covers have included “Bohemian Rhapsody” and last year’s “Don’t Let Me Down,” played outdoors in Brooklyn as a full-on recreation of the Beatles’ rooftop concert. That video’s homespun goofiness offered a bit of welcome respite in the throes of deep COVID (and the 2020 election season), with a stellar performance that gave the band a chance to channel their pop forebears while also putting their own signature stamp on the classic tune. For Halloween 2021, Lake Street Dive continued the trend of outsized musical stunts with a hammy cover of Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams (Come True).” Continue reading »

Nov 172021
 
lola young john lewis ad

In the UK, the John Lewis Christmas TV ad is kind of a big deal. The ads are known for being very well made, with a story and soundtrack with a strong emotional resonance – reducing some viewers to tears. For the 2021 ad, John Lewis tapped young singer-songwriter Lola Young to provide a version of the Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder classic “Together in Electric Dreams.” Continue reading »