An intriguing title, I think. But I’m afraid I might be about to disappoint you (at least I didn’t put ‘bed’ or ‘sex’ in the tags for this piece!). Look at the tag line for my blog: yes, this one is about music, and specifically cover versions of songs.
As you may have noticed, I’m given to recycling older posts that I think may well have slipped under the radar with current readers, who wouldn’t have been following this blog way back when. I use an app called Timehop, which is great at reminding me of post anniversaries. Recently it has given me Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma which originates from November 2015 and shared some of my favourite parody versions of songs. That year was the second, following on from 2014, when I took part in National Blog Posting Month – aka #NaBloPoMo – and committed myself to posting every day in November. As you can imagine, that was hard for an irregular blogger like me, and I decided that twice was more than enough!
If you followed the link to that older post you’ll see that it includes a reference to a piece the previous week, Shake It Off when I’d written about cover versions of songs, and how people can make them their own. Recently I’ve found myself listening on YouTube to a lot of cover versions of some of my favourite songs and I thought I’d share some of these obscurities with you. Many of the covers posted on YouTube are what I’d call vanity projects, where the enthusiasm of the performers isn’t matched by talent, but I’ve found some notable exceptions. There’s no pattern to this – just a selection displaying real talent. In each case I’ll give you the original and then the cover, so that you can make up your own mind.
One of my long time favourite bands is Crosby Stills and Nash (plus Young, when he joined in). Their back catalogue is full of gems, amongst which is this one, which displays their harmonies to full effect:
YouTube suggests videos for you to watch, based on your previous viewing, and that is how I came across this cover version of the song. Stripped down, it shows off its full beauty. I was intrigued to find out more about this, and it turns out that this is a mother, Kappa Danielson, and her daughters Emma, on fiddle, and Halie on mandolin. This dates back nine years, and there are many others from the family since then which show how the two girls have developed their musical talents over the years. Kappa herself made an album in 2010, If I Let Go, and it’s as lovely as you would expect having seen this video: I’m sure you’ll be as impressed with this performance as I was. I’ve watched it many times!
Not knowing how Google works its alchemy with the algorithms for YouTube, I don’t know if it was pure coincidence that they have also suggested another band with a family connection. The many videos of a band called Foxes and Fossils are on the YouTube channel of a guy called Tim Purcell, who features as singer, guitarist and keyboard player. The ‘Fossils’ are Tim and some other gentlemen of a similar age, whilst the ‘Foxes’ are his daughter Sammie and (initially) Maggie Adams, though she has since moved on and been replaced by Chase Truran. When the band started out, Sammie and Maggie were just 15 – as was Chase when she joined. Their videos have clearly gone through some post-production but they all sound amazing and very professional, with great singing and musicianship. There is a lot of talent on display here, but if you search for them you will probably wonder, as do I, why they often seemed to be playing in car parks! Keeping with the CS&N theme, this is the opening track – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes from their eponymous debut album:
As that is over seven minutes long you wouldn’t expect a semi-pro covers band to take it on, but Foxes and Fossils did:
Remember that the two girls are 15 in that performance: I think it’s amazing!
To show that both groups don’t just cover CS&N, I’m sharing another video by each of them. Firstly, this one by Kappa and her girls. This is from two years ago, and shows how much our children grow up in seven years! It’s also beautiful:
And now this one, by Foxes and Fossils, who have recently got back together again and have posted a couple of new ones, featuring all three of the Foxes:
There’s a lot of rubbish on YouTube, but I’m always pleasantly surprised to come across hidden gems like these. You should try it sometime: I’d be interested to know what you find. You could do a lot worse than visiting the two previous posts I linked above – plenty more to enjoy there 😊