Oct 062022
 

Being the child of a music legend is not without its challenges, especially if you’re trying to carve out a path in the same field as your famous parent.  There’s no right way to do it, but Vieux Farka Toure – son of the late guitarist and singer Ali Farka Toure, Mali’s “King of Desert Blues”– has handled it better than most. Rather than distancing himself from his father’s legacy, you could say that Vieux has expanded upon it, picking up where the elder Toure left off.

At first, Vieux’s dream of becoming a musician was opposed by Ali, who was acutely aware of the cutthroat nature of the music business. Vieux pressed on regardless, first learning the djembe before moving on to guitar, then enrolling at Mali’s prestigious National School of the Arts to receive professional tuition. Ali, perhaps impressed by his son’s tenacity, changed his stance, and in 2004 devoted himself to teaching his signature guitar style to Vieux. It wasn’t a moment too soon: within two years, Ali Farka Toure had passed away from cancer.

Vieux’s debut album arrived in 2007. Since then, he has walked a tightrope of staying true to his heritage while also pursuing innovative collaborations, such as the 2015 album Touristes with American singer Julia Easterlin, or his partnership with Israeli keyboardist and singer Idan Raichel in The Toure-Raichel Collective. 2022, however, has seen Vieux return to his roots. His album Les Racines, released earlier this year, specifically addresses the ongoing turmoil in his homeland of Mali. Taking things even closer to home, this new album, Ali, is an unabashed tribute to the music of his father.
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Apr 212021
 

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

a cappella cover

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question, suggested by staffer Jordan Becker: What’s your favorite cover song based on a relative’s original?
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Jun 232017
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

u2 joshua tree covers

There’s a cartoon circulating on social media mocking U2 for a penchant for nostalgia. And, on its face, it’s pretty funny:

It doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, though. U2 is entirely the wrong group to pick for this joke. “World’s laziest band”? If anything, they have the opposite problem, endlessly hustling and trend-chasing in pursuit of their next hit. Their current Joshua Tree tour is just about the first nostalgia-trip moneygrab in a forty-year career. Unlike just about every other major band from the ’70s and ’80s, they generally avoid the greatest-hits summer tours and Oldchella combos the comic rightly lampoons.

The band is, however, indulging a rare back-pat on their current stadium tour by playing The Joshua Tree from start to finish. It’s one of the front-loaded albums of all time, an insane run of hits on side one followed by relative obscurities on the flip (including “Red Hill Mining Town,” which they’d never played live until this year). Which sounds like it might make for odd concert pacing, but early reviews have been great.

So if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. As U2 celebrates thirty years of The Joshua Tree, we will too, with covers of every song on the album. Continue reading »