Under The Covers Old And New

Whilst this is only the third post in my occasional Under The Covers series I thought that, as well as sharing some first timers, I’d include again a couple of the cover versions that have been in previous posts elsewhere on my site. Trust me, they’re worth hearing again! This is a mixed bunch, the majority of which (just) have been published in the past year, and there is a strong element of ‘singer-songwriter’ about them: a genre I’ve always listened to.

I’m starting things off with a favourite artist of mine. This is one of the repeats: it first appeared in a Tuesday Tunes post last spring:

That was the first video released to support Kate Rusby’s album of cover versions of her favourite songs, Hand Me Down, which hit the #1 spot on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart. I covered it in more detail when I first shared it: if you’d like to see what I said you can find it in Tuesday Tunes 19.  That is such a charming video, and the whole family are an absolute delight.

I also featured John Fogerty in that post. In the early months of lockdown he posted a number of videos with his sons and daughter, under the name Fogerty’s Factory. Most of these were versions of his own songs, either from his Creedence days or as a solo act, but he also included a couple of covers, of which this was one:

The song was originally written and recorded by Bill Withers, who took it to #1 in the US and #18 in the UK. Bill passed away at the end of March 2020 and although John doesn’t mention it in the video he did say elsewhere that this is his tribute to Bill. The difference in their voices gives the song a new feel, and, as John says, it conveys an important message – that message is just as valid as it was in 1972, when the song was written. The video is also notable for some inspired percussion by Kelsy on the upturned bucket, and the amazing view from the Fogerty family home.

I included the wonderful Cowboy Junkies in Tuesday Tunes 49 with their Anniversary Song. There was a good response to this, so I thought I’d share one of their cover versions. They have done many, but I thought I’d give you this one, of a lovely song by one of their Canadian compatriots:

As you may well know, the song was written by Neil Young and first appeared on the CSN&Y album Dejà Vu in 1970. There have been many cover versions, and Neil himself has re-recorded it, but this version rates highly for me: Margo Timmins voice is a thing of beauty, and the elongated treatment they give the song, with the inspired addition of the accordion, is nothing short of magical. I love it! The Cowboy Junkies have recorded a version of the song – it is on the deluxe version of their 2004 album One Soul Now, if you’re interested.

This next one is another of those to which I’m giving a second airing, simply because I think it’s wonderful:

That is one of my favourite Rolling Stones tracks, and Molly Tuttle has given it a beautifully sympathetic treatment, whilst making some important points in the video. I first shared it in Tuesday Tunes 25 and gave some detailed background on Molly in that piece. Feel free to take a look, if you’d like to know more about her. As I said then, this is one of those covers that adds something to the original, and I think it’s gorgeous.

I don’t think I’ve shared this next one here, though I did once give it #SongOfTheDay status on my Facebook page for this blog – I really need to get back to that! This is a cover of a rock song by a band who get pigeon-holed as ‘bluegrass’ – sometimes those labels can be so unhelpful! See what you think:

This was originally posted by the band, Thunder And Rain, as an official video but that version seems to have disappeared, until this guy reposted it! It is the best video version, though there are several very good live ones too, but in case copyright gets in the way this is the new official record company static video version:

You may recall that in my previous Under The Covers post I gave you a version of this song by the German oompah band The Heimatdamisch – you can find it here. Same song, different treatments. I think it is the mark of a good song that this can be done with it, and the Guns ‘n’ Roses original is pretty good too! I think this one is particularly fine, though: the musicianship is exceptional and Erinn Peet Lukes does a great job with the vocals.

This next one is a bit out of the mainstream. The Petersens are a family band from Branson, MO, who write some of their own songs but also do a lot of covers. This is their latest, which is a bit of a departure in style for them. They seem to be having a lot of fun with it, though:

The band comprises the three Petersen sisters, Ellen, Katie and Julianne, brother Matt, mum Karen and an interloper on the dobro, Emmet Franz. Their musicianship is always good, and the sibling harmony vocals work well with everything they do. They may be a local band, but they are – like Foxes And Fossils – one of those who have benefited from the publicity YouTube can bring – 497k followers tells the story, and this video has 171k viewings in under three days!

I’m bringing this piece to a close with the band I regard as the epitome of YouTube cover acts. They are very prolific with these, as well as making great music of their own. Regular readers won’t be in the least bit surprised to see who I mean:

I’ve posted this one a couple of times before – it was once the focus of a post – but I’m making no excuses for a repeat appearance. It is how a cover should be: keep true to the original, but do it your way. With over 4.2m YouTube subscribers they seem to have got this right! You have to wait for him, but this is one of their videos with a trademark appearance by the much missed Beard Guy, Mike Taylor.

That’s all for now, folks. The covers keep rolling off the presses, so I’ll be back soon with some more (Looney Tunes and Arnie in the same paragraph, what more could you want?).

Enjoy your weekend.