Feb 022024
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Johnny B. Goode

Really? As in, surely Cover Me must have talked about “Johnny B. Goode” before? Well, I’ve searched, and it seems “Memphis, Tennessee” is the only Chuck song to show itself on this platform. Of course, it may just feel like we’ve given Johnny the once-over twice on account of ol’ Charles Edward Anderson Berry wrote so many of the standard templates of rock (and roll). I mean, it isn’t as if nobody’s ever tried a cover, it difficult to imagine any guitar band ever not taking a crack at it. Is it not compulsory that every band of spotty youth, convening in a reluctant father’s garage, include it in their nascent set of tunes? Hell, I bet it casts a longer shadow than even “Louie, Louie,” always previously the lodestone at such gatherings. Secondhand Songs, still the wiki for cover lovers, suggests 328 versions, which, given the site’s understandable inability to know or find every single itty bitty rendition, suggests possibly a fair few more. (Indeed, as ever, we rely on you to let us know some more good(e) covers in the responses.)

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Dec 012023
 

Blimey, but hasn’t George Ivan been busy. He’s churned out four albums in the past three years; Accentuate the Positive is the second one this year to catch our eye. If Moving On Skiffle was his skiffle album, Accentate the Positive is Van Morrison’s homage to rock and roll, or the roots thereof. A wedge of tunes largely from the late ’40s into ’60s, this is the the sort of stuff that must have caught his ear as he was starting off himself, as a fresh faced r’n’b shouter from Belfast. And once more, by making this a parade of idiosyncratically offered cover versions, he avoids the problem that his recent streak of original material had in spades, that of his bluntly critical lyrical bombast. Which I, for one, salute, as this is mostly a joyous set of songs.
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Cover Genres: Box

 Posted by at 12:00 pm  1 Response »
Jun 092023
 

Cover Genres takes a look at cover songs in a very specific musical style.

box

Herewith the last in the unholy triumvirate of banjo, bagpipes, and box. Time now to unwrap the wonders of melodeon, accordion, concertina, bandoneon and all their squeezy family upon your eager ears. Actually (maybe) a primitive  precursor of the synthesizer, the squeezebox family started life as a way of letting one player give a more orchestral sound to proceedings, the rich textures replicating the play of a whole bevy of musicians. Indeed, in the same way as the Musician’s Union decried the synthesizer, so too will the equivalent of its day have decried the box, taking work away from honest pipe’n’taborists.

This family of instruments casts, arguably, far wider a net than the two B’s that have preceded it here, banjo and bagpipes, with a right of place across very many cultures and categories. Broadly occupying a space in ethnic roots traditions, this has never stopped appearances crossing over into territories that might be more squeeze-averse. Which to me is the joy.
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Apr 292022
 
best cover songs april 2022
Aimee Mann – Brooklyn (Steely Dan cover)

If you missed the whole brouhaha when Steely Dan dropped Aimee Mann as their opening act, it’s too long to recap here. To skip to the end, Mann tweeted, “All is forgiven if Donald [Fagan] just tells me what Brooklyn is about.” And he did! So, at a recent show at City Winery, she covered it. All does indeed appear to be forgiven. Continue reading »

May 292020
 

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs may 2020
Daniel Romano’s Outfit – Sweetheart Like You (Bob Dylan cover)


This one’s for all the Dylan superfans. In 1984, Bob Dylan played three songs on Letterman with L.A. punk band The Plugz. They were gritty and garagey and raw. It boded well for his new sound. And then he never played with them again. The album he was ostensibly promoting, Infidels, was much smoother, helmed by Mark Knopfler. For those who still wonder what could have been, Daniel Romano covered the entire album as if he’d recorded it with The Plugz. Continue reading »