Friday, November 30, 2007

(Re)Covered: More of and from...
Cat Stevens, Neil Finn, The Wainwright Family, and Bill Morrissey

I certainly wasn't planning to post four times this week. But I've unearthed some great-but-late cuts that just begged to be passed along. And this past holiday weekend left me feeling thankful for all those who write and say such nice things about Cover Lay Down. Guess the urge to keep giving was just too much to bear.

Today, the second installment in our (Re)Covered series, wherein we recover songs that dropped through the cracks too late to make it into the posts where they belonged. Enjoy!



I've had several requests for the popcovers I mentioned in last week's Cat Stevens post -- they're not folk, but Stevens is, and both Natalie Merchant and Sheryl Crow have folk cred (the former from her recent solo work, the latter from her early pre-stardom days). So here are Peace Train and The First Cut Is The Deepest. Along with a sweet, ragged, just-unearthed version of Wild World by antipopsters The Format. Plus Australian indiefolkers New Buffalo's slow, grungy acoustic take on that Nina Simone song that Yusuf covers, just for comparison's sake. Oh, and a wonderful, sparse, sleepytime Here Comes My Baby cover from previously featured kidfolk songstress Elizabeth Mitchell. Ask, and ye shall receive, and then some.

  • 10,000 Maniacs, Peace Train
  • Sheryl Crow, The First Cut Is The Deepest
  • The Format, Wild World
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, Here Comes My Baby
  • New Buffalo, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (orig. Nina Simone)



I also picked up a few wonderful solo acoustic covers from Neil Finn last week that I couldn't resist passing along; they would have been great bonus songs from our October feature on the songs of Neil and Tim Finn, if I'd had 'em, but that's what our (Re)Covered feature is for. He's not folk, and neither are the original artists of these two pop songs, but the brightly optimistic singer-songwriter treatment Finn gives these two pop songs would be perfectly appropriate on any folk festival stage in the country.

  • Neil Finn, Billie Jean (orig. Michael Jackson)
  • Neil Finn, Sexual Healing (orig. Marvin Gaye)



Lest we lose sight of our core mission, here's some folk covering folk: a wonderful Bill Morrissey and Greg Brown cover of Hang Me, Oh Hang Me I rediscovered just after posting Bill Morrissey's tribute to Mississippi John Hurt. It's a traditional folksong you might recognize as covered by the Grateful Dead under the alternate title Been All Around This World; I'm saving that for a long-overdue Garcia and Grisman feature, but in the meantime, here's another sweet version of the same song by new neotraditionalist Canadian alt-folkies The Deep Dark Woods.

  • Bill Morrissey w/ Greg Brown, Hang Me, Oh Hang Me
  • The Deep Dark Woods, Hang Me, Oh Hang Me



And finally, not one but two beautiful songs which really speak to the whole twisted family dynamic of the Wainwrights, who we featured in our first Folk Family Friday. First, in a burst of typical irony, Rufus and Martha cover father Loudon Wainwright III's One Man Guy, then -- just to show there's no hard feelings -- Kate and Anna McGarrigle once again bring together family friend Emmylou Harris and ex-spouse Loudon for a jangly take on the traditional Green, Green Rocky Road.

  • Rufus Wainwright w/ Martha Wainwright, One Man Guy
  • The McGarrigles, Green, Green Rocky Road



As always, all artist links here on Cover Lay Down go directly to the artists' preferred source for purchasing music. Please, folks: if you like what you hear, both here and out there in the wild world, buy the music, and support the continued production of incredible sound from those who eschew the easy top 40 route to fame and fortune.

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