Apr 302024
best cover songs
The Dirty Nil — Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler cover)

I’m honestly surprised there weren’t more “Total Eclipse” covers during this month’s total eclipse. Perhaps because our total eclipse was of the sun, rather than the heart. Or, more likely, because this song is hard as hell to sing. Best of the bunch came this garage-rocking version from Ontario trio The Dirty Nil. Gritty and raw, and singer Luke Bentham sells the hell out of it. Continue reading »

Apr 122024
ashley monroe i like trains cover

Fred Eaglesmith is an acclaimed and prolific Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter who is basically unknown in the United States. In Canada, his fans have their own name: Fredheads. But he has only 18 songs is covers database SecondHandSongs – despite releasing 17 studio albums over the last 40 years – and we’ve noted exactly one cover of a song of his, all the way back in 2010, by fellow alt country Canadians Cowboy Junkies. For whatever reason, he just hasn’t been discovered by Americans despite the heavy Americana of his lyrics.

Pistol Annies member Ashley Monroe wants to change that. She recently covered Eaglesmith’s “I like Trains” from his 7th album, 1996’s Drive-In Movie, a song which explicitly references the American South. (As well as, um, trains.) Continue reading »

Dec 222010

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

Hailing from the barren Canadian wilderness – make that the suburbs of Toronto – the Cowboy Junkies have come a long way in the 25 years since they formed. Clichéd though it may be, they recorded their first album, 1986’s Whites Off Earth Now!, in an actual garage. The band, consisting of the three Timmins and a friend on bass, have always featured cover tunes as an essential part of their repertoire, from the blues tracks on Whites, to their breakthrough version of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”, to their upcoming collection of Vic Chesnutt covers.

For the latest edition of the Live Collection, we sifted through the Live Music Archive to bring you a set that spans the Junkies’ entire career (right up to a Chesnutt cover from October). Dedicated fans may not gasp at the song selection; the band does not throw in novelty “Like A Virgin” or “Run To The Hills” covers. Instead, they honor more obvious influences such as Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. However, the casual listener who only knows the band through their one platinum album (1988’s The Trinity Session) may not expect the darkness of “State Trooper” or the foreboding of Robert Johnson’s “32-20 Blues”. Continue reading »