It's Hell Week over at Star Maker Machine, and though I had pretty much relegated all cross-promotion of this collaborative blog to the sidebar, I thought coverfans and folkfans might be interested in this piece about Friend of the Devil, one of my favorite Grateful Dead tunes from one of my absolute favorite Dead albums American Beauty. For the original, plus five covers -- from countryfolker Lyle Lovett, true folksman Bob Dylan, poprockers Counting Crows, acoustic roots band Last Fair Deal, and oldschool newgrassers Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pederson -- head on over.
But don't leave emptyhanded, folks. My usual pre-post iTunes search called up several great indiefolk and alt-folk covers of Straight to Hell, an underrated, unusually downbeat political song by old-school Britpunk faves The Clash. The song isn't truly about Hell so much as it uses the term to voice mass culture's dismissal of the downtrodden in what Wikipedia describes as "a typical Clash condemnation of the wrongs that they saw in the world as they wrote the song". As such, despite its title, Straight to Hell doesn't really belong at Star Maker Machine this week. But the covers make a perfect short set for a Friday coverblog occasional, and it sure as hell makes me happy to share 'em here.
- Josh Rouse, Straight to Hell
(from a Q Magazine Sampler; more Rouse here)
- Amy Loftus and Will Kimbrough, Straight to Hell
(from Straight to Amy; more Amy here, more Will here)
- Emm Gryner, Straight to Hell
(from Girl Versions; more Emm here)
- Steve Ketchen & the Kensington Hillbillies, Straight to Hell
(from Start Your Own Country: New Sound of the Old West Vol. 4; more Kensington Hillbillies here)
Cover Lay Down publishes Wednesdays, Sundays, and the occasional Friday and holiday throughout the year. We'll be back this Sunday with a coverset of treesongs for my eldest child's sixth birthday!