Jan 262023
 
umphrey's mcgee helplessly hoping

Umphrey’s McGee is an indie/jam band from Indiana that is known for its experimental genre-blending and unique improv. The six-piece group just completed their 25th-anniversary tour this past Sunday. While on the tour, the group paid tribute to David Crosby with a cover of “Helplessly Hoping” at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY.

“Helplessly Hoping” is one of the iconic tracks on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s self-titled debut album. The song was about love, and writer Stephen Stills’ struggle to make ends meet back in the day when he was a session musician. Umphrey’s McGee kept the tune true to the original and did justice to the late singer. These vocal harmonies sound oh-so-sweet. 

Opening act Eggy also performed a commemorative Crosby cover at that show, tackling “Carry On” off the first CSN album where they added a “Y” for “Young.” Watch both videos below.

Jan 252023
 
maple glider you're still the one cover

“You’re Still the One” is probably Shania Twain’s most covered song though it’s not her absolute biggest hit. That likely has something to do with how classic the melody seems. And the song seems to attract a certain type of performer and performance. Only a few months ago, we were talking about one stripped-down version of this ballad. And now we’ve got another one for you.

Maple Glider is the pseudonym for Australia’s Tori Zietsch, who released her debut album in 2021. On her new version, Zietsch starts out with a subdued, sedate approach. There are actually more instruments here – drums, bass, organ, backing vocals, one or more guitars – than it sounds like at first, but the song has that stripped-down feel because of the mix and aesthetic. Zietch’s voice is right up front and more than once everything but her voice and her guitar drop out. Continue reading »

Jan 242023
 
willie nelson busted

On March 3rd, Willie Nelson will release his first album in a full ten months! Believe it or not, that’s a fairly long gap for him – the album before that came only five months prior. At a quick scan of his insane discography, it looks like there has not been a year without a new Willie Nelson album since 1992 – and that’s the only year he took off since the ’60s. Continue reading »

Jan 202023
 
admiral pleasant valley sunday cover

“Pleasant Valley Sunday” was The Monkees’ fourth Top 5 US hit and Gold Record in less than a year, helping cement their stardom. But, though it’s heavily associated with the happy-go-lucky, manufactured TV rock band, the lyrics are utterly different than any of their other big hits. Written by the legendary Goffin-King after the couple moved to the suburbs, the lyrics mock suburban life and cast a critical eye on materialism. They contrast with the upbeat music, music upbeat enough to fool listeners into thinking it’s a happy song. Continue reading »

Jan 172023
 
kate bollinger

Kate Bollinger is a folk musician from Virginia signed to the label Ghostly International. She recently the seal of approval from Atwood Magazine after receiving the editor’s pick on one of her tunes, and has also served as an inspiration to Kanye West, who sampled one of her songs on his album Donda.

“J’aime les filles” (translation: “I love girls”) was written by Jacques Dutronc, and was released as a single in 1967. Dutronc is known for his contributions to French rock, particularly French psychedelic-rock, and Yé-yé, a Beatles-y genre. The tune details all the girls the character loves, including Castel, Regine, and girls in magazines. The original is jazzy with lots of piano, vocal scoops, and snare.

On her new cover, Kate Bollinger decked this French tune out with tasteful vibraphones, whisks on the snare, and crisp vocal processing. She replaced the piano with vibes and traded out vocal scoops for coy yet plainspoken vocals. This iteration of the tune is much more modern, while still giving a nod to this French jazz style. Bollinger actually named the entirety of her new album J’aime Les Filles – an homage to the French-pop/ French-rock icon.

Jan 172023
 
scary pockets purple haze cover

Though “Hey Joe” was his first single, it was “Purple Haze” that really introduced the world to Jimi Hendrix and his revolutionary guitar playing. It’s iconic, but because it’s so iconic, it can be a hard song to reimagine.

Reinterpreting iconic tracks is Scary Pockets‘ thing, of course. The funk band have a long history of reinterpreting famous songs by major artists, fronted by a guest vocalist. So it’s no surprise their take on one of Hendrix’s most famous songs is an interesting one. (It’s fun, too!) Continue reading »