Wednesday, January 9, 2008

(Re)Covered III: More Coverfolk From...
Moxy Fruvous, Billy Bragg, Brooks Williams, Zydeco

Songsources are ever pouring forth new and unearthed sounds: the forgotten track, the new release, your own wonderful recommendations via email or post comments. Sometimes the perfect folksong pops onto the radar (or hits the blogosphere) and demands to be shared, no matter how after-the-fact.

Today, our third installment of (Re)Covered, a regular feature in which we recover a few songs that dropped through the cracks just a little too late to make it into the posts where they belonged. Better late than never, I say. Thanks to all who share music, that we might revisit, and rejoice.



Ever wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you missed something? These Moxy Fruvous kidsongs truly belonged at the core of last month's post on silly songs and dancearounds for cool moms and dads. Canadian eco-political folk rockers Moxy Fruvous used to rock the house at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival each year, but they could also play a college student center lounge like nobody's business; their take on the Talking Heads isn't technically kids music, but it seemed right for the occasion. Their "cover" of seminal kidlit text Green Eggs and Ham is not just hilarious, it's quite possibly the best folk rap song you'll ever hear.



Researching those kidfolk posts has brought me new appreciation for the kids CD rack at our local library; here's a fun little Marley cover I found on Putumayo's Carribean Playground that would have been perfect for our Subgenre Coverfolk feature on Zydeco music. The first few bars suffer from some cheesy electronic keyboards, but they get swallowed by the great Zydeco sound quick enough. Also included: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys with a houserockin' version of traditional proto-Cajun tune La Danse De Mardi Gras. Coming eventually: a full post on folk covers of Bob Marley songs.



A few bonus Brooks Williams coversongs got stuck in my head after our feature on this incredible singer-songwriting guitar wizard. You probably know Angie as a Simon and Garfunkel tune off Sounds of Silence, though folk-rocker Davey Graham gave it first voice; Brooks Williams and Jim Henry's deceptively simple instrumental version is crisp and reinvigorating. Their gleeful cover of Stefane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt string-jazz tune Minor Swing was too tempting to leave out.

  • Brooks Williams + Jim Henry, Angie (orig. Davey Graham)
  • Brooks Williams + Jim Henry, Minor Swing (orig. Grappelli/Reinhardt)



Finally, I'm still kicking myself for not including kidsong I Was Born in last week's post on Billy Bragg, cover artist. Like his other work with Wilco and Natalie Merchant, the song is a half-cover -- lyrics by Guthrie, music by Bragg -- but it captures the Guthrie sensibility so well, you'd think they were channeling the old folkie. His Dylan and Tim Hardin covers are similarly authentic; you probably know the latter as a Rod Stewart piece, but this is a thousand times more real.



Don't forget to come back on Friday, when I'll be doing double duty: a few choice folk covers of songs by 80s alternative rock band The Smiths here at Cover Lay Down, and a guest post on the Pop Punk movement over at Fong Songs.

20 comments:

Robin Marie said...

Haha, the Green Eggs and Ham is priceless! Made my day!

Robin Marie said...

Also, I thought this community might interest you. A community about children's books It's still pretty small, but it looks good!

Fongolia said...

Zeppelin, The Police, Spice Girls... I want my Moxy Fruvous reunion!

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