Trombone Shorty is one of New Orleans’s most omnipresent figures these days, spreading the gospel of his hometown across mediums and countless collaborations. Both with his core project, Orleans Avenue, and as a soloist, TS’s cover appearances truly run the gamut: joining Jon Batiste & Stay Human to take on Allen Toussaint on The Late Show; guesting with Sheryl Crow and Warren Haynes on a Blind Faith tune; a vaunted appearance at the Obama White House, playing down the seminal “St. James Infirmary.” By comparison, Trombone Shorty’s latest cover-collaboration comes from a bit farther into left field, offering a reworked version of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”…for a Folgers coffee ad.
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s big day with cover tributes to his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Steve Winwood turns 72 today, so we have quite a few candles to light. The multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter has had so many different incarnations that surveying his career makes you dizzy. It’s not just that Winwood tried his hand at different genres, it’s that he helped define those genres. These things can happen when a gifted artist jumps in on the action early —Winwood was famous for his music by the age of 16—and then keeps evolving in ways that matter. Add to that some serious staying power, and you have an impressive career–one that is still going strong six decades in.
In fact, last year may have been Winwood’s best ever, in a funny way. DJ-producer Kygo remixed Whitney Houston’s cover of Winwood’s “Higher Love,” and released it digitally; the song now has about 350,000,000 hits on Spotify alone. More about that song later, but for now just imagine that a small number of Kygo’s followers are asking themselves, “Who wrote this?” What will they find, and like, once they go down the Winwood rabbit hole?
Another Bonnaroo has come and gone and all we have to remember it by are the videos. The advantage of a mandatory camping fest is that people don’t upload their unlistenable five-pixel cell phone videos until after the end, so most of the videos that hit YouTube this weekend were professionally filmed. Lots of covers performed. Here’s a roundup of some of the best. Julia Nune’s medley of songs she hates is a must-see.