It’s no secret at this point that in addition to being a comedian, actor, and confused scientist, John C. Reilly is a more than credible folksinger. He recently joined Andrew Bird and Tom Brosseau on Bird’s living room couch for just about the best use of Facebook Live we’ve seen. The trio performed a bunch of folk covers, songs you might know from the Carter Family, Delmore Brothers, and more. They also do a more recent tune, “Cathedrals” by the Handsome Family, a band Reilly has opened for.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
David Bowie’s appearance on Top of the Pops in 1972 electrified a nation. “I had to phone someone, so I picked on you,” he sang, pointing directly into the camera with the slyest of smiles, and within 24 hours young Britons were answering that call, draping their arms over their friends’ shoulders and buying The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in droves. (Many of them would be part of the New Romantic movement a decade later and would cite that show as the moment their world shifted.)
It didn’t hurt that Bowie had sung “Starman,” a track with more hooks than Moulty’s closet. It was added to Ziggy at the last minute, in the belief that it was just the hit single the album needed – a belief that turned out to be very well founded indeed. Both the singer and the song have enraptured listeners ever since.
This was the first year that the free, three-day music festival Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was without it’s founder Warren Hellman. Warren passed late last year and left a San Francisco tradition that is being faithfully carried out by an army of music lovers, bigger and better than ever. This year’s festival in Golden Gate Park featured 6 stages, a crowd of 600,000 and 88 acts with a variety of artists like Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, The Lumineers, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Conor Oberst, The Civil Wars, Son Volt, Ralph Stanley, Nick Lowe and many more. Check out a handful of the many covers from the weekend below!
After his collaboration with Insane Clown Posse, nothing Jack White does will surprise us. Even his latest venture, a series of Third Man Records singles with actor John C. Reilly makes more sense than that ICP nonsense. After all, Reilly sang in both Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Chicago, even earning an Academy Award nomination for the latter. White produced a few new country covers by the actor, including a cover of Ray Price’s 1954 country hit “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me).”
Every Christmas season brings us a litany of competing versions of the same tunes. This year, though, comedic actors seem to battling it out as much as would-be Tony Bennetts. Last week we LOLed at Jack Black and Jason Segel’s bombastic arena rock version of the Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth.” This week, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly threw their hat into the ring with their own version of the holiday classic.