Oct 042021
 
cover '90s country

According to Spotify, ‘90s-era country music has been enjoying a resurgence among fans young fans. Since 2018, streams of the platform’s ‘90s Country playlist have gone up 150%, with a 70% increase among Gen-Z listeners (i.e. people born between the late ‘90s and early 2010s). To them, the music of the ‘90s is a product of a by-gone era.

To celebrate (or capitalize) on this trend, the Spotify Singles series released covers of three of the biggest country hits from the decade, all recorded by artists who were born in the ‘90s. Separately, an American Idol alum released her own cover of a track from the era on Instagram. Here’s a breakdown of the four covers, boots and spurs not included: Continue reading »

May 012020
 

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

john prine covers

Are there any bad John Prine covers?

I mean, sure, there are bad covers of anyone worth covering. But it struck me going through the many candidates for this list that they mostly ranged from transcendent on the high end to pretty good on the low. “Pretty good” was about as bad as it got! I don’t think you could say that for anyone else we’ve featured in this series. Continue reading »

Apr 042019
 
george strait johnny paycheck

In the spring of 1998, I reviewed the George Strait Country Music Festival for my college newspaper. Once I got past describing the cigarette and chewing tobacco giveaways in the parking lot, this is what I wrote about Strait’s set: “His style of music was much more traditional compared to the other performers on the bill. Complete with twangy guitars and dueling fiddles, he seemed to belt out hit after hit with the entire crowd singing along to songs about love, love lost, rodeos and even a ‘Song about the Heartland.’” Continue reading »

Feb 192014
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

silver jews cover songs

For most of their lifetime, the Silver Jews never toured and rarely played live. In fact, they hardly existed between albums. All that changed in 2006 when, after emerging alive from drug addiction, head Joo David Berman gathered players from the band’s 2nd and 4th albums to hit the road in support of Tanglewood Numbers. They promised to try their best and, generally, fans were pleased, if not ecstatic, to hear the songs they had long listened closely to on headphones blasted from a stage. But all that excitement may have been the beginning of the end. The band’s next album — the first written “post-applause” — would be their last. In January 2009, Berman announced that the Silver Jews were no more and he was “moving over to another category. Screenwriting or Muckraking.”
Continue reading »