Archive for November 2008

On Race and the Folk Community
(with Jazzfolk from KJ Denhert and Lizz Wright)

November 29th, 2008 — 07:39 pm

The relative dearth of both musicians and audience members of color in the American folk scene is both a running gag and an embarrassing secret; as evidence, I note that I once saw Vance Gilbert remark onstage to Ruthie Foster that, with both of them in the same songcircle, “every black person at the festival is on stage right now — we should start a movement!”

While Gilbert’s attempt at brash humor may not have been technically accurate, his comment — and the uncomfortable laughter which followed it — speaks to the self-perpetuating stereotype of American folk as white music for white folks, a stereotype only deepening now that the predominantly white indie movement and its almost exclusively caucasian hipster fans have begun a comprehensive usurpation of the term “folk” to reflect a particularly acoustic and/or appalachian authenticity within their own communities.

Ella Jenkins, Elizabeth Cotten, Taj Mahal, Odetta, Richie Havens, The Carolina Chocolate Drops (pictured above), and the above-mentioned artists aside, it is true that the percentage of black musicians in folk music is curiously light — an oddity, especially given how powerfully and deeply the roots of american folk music reach into the acoustic blues forms of the American South. And it is also interesting to me that the few black musicians performing today who identify as folk lean heavily towards the blues and jazz ends of the genre, where hybridization is the name of the game, and where one can legitimately make a case that blues and jazz are, to some extent, the folk music of the black community.

Which is to say: The question of race and folk is a recognizable (albeit oft-avoided) phenomenon worthy of more serious study than a blog can provide. But whether you choose to embrace the discomfort or sweep it under the proverbial rug, acknowledging this very real issue provides an especially interesting context in which to present relatively new works from two still-rising black female musicians from the jazz end of the folk genre, both of whom crossed my desk in past few weeks.

KJ Denhert has plenty of indie and folk cred — she’s won songwriting contests from Kerrville to Mountain Stage, and she produces her records on her own label. But this NY-based singer-songwriter, who has also opened for the likes of Alicia Keys, defies easy genre categorization. Her recent live album Vivo a Umbria Jazz was, as the title notes, recorded live at this past year’s Umbria Jazz festival in Italy — an unusual place to find folk music, to say the least. The rich, fluid, improvisational music which Denhert produces with this wonderful ensemble didn’t sound like folk to my ears at first, either, though it was highly rewarding in its own right.

But something kept nagging at me to reconsider Vivo a Umbria Jazz for Cover Lay Down. It certainly sounded familiar as folk, and once I finally placed the sound, I realized that this is a sterling example of the kind of folk music that Joni Mitchell was making in the studio in the mid to late seventies, starting with Hejira: freestyle jazz production built around an acoustic guitar and a low, slightly breathy voice which weaves in and out of rhythm like a saxophone soloist.

Denhert’s last live album won the Independent Music Award for Best Live Recording, and if it was anything like this, it’s easy to see why: the more I listen, the more I appreciate both the sheer glee of Vivo a Umbria — Denhert’s eighth — and the delightful musical hybrid form which Denhert categorizes as “Urban Folk and Jazz”. Here, she takes on Police standard Message in a Bottle, playing with the sax like Sting himself in his Dream of the Blue Turtles days, and strips down old Oz chestnut Somewhere Over the Rainbow into something acoustic and quite Joni-esque; at her promoter’s request, they are available here in streaming form only. For both produced and live versions of these covers and more, plus some stellar confessional originals, head over to KJ Denhert’s website to peruse, and/or to Motema to purchase.

  • STREAM: KJ Denhert: Message in a Bottle (orig. The Police)

  • STREAM: KJ Denhert: Somewhere Over The Rainbow (orig. Dorothy Gale)

Lizz Wright hit the blogs a long while back, and I liked it; my father recommended her again this summer, and I nodded my head and said I liked it again. But it wasn’t until yesterday afternoon, when I finally got a chance to sit down with her 2005 album Dreaming Wide Awake and listen to it all the way through, that I really felt the pull.

Wright is an alto jazz siren who gets filed under “vocals” in our local library; Dreaming Wide Awake topped the Contemporary Jazz charts the year it was released, and her MySpace trifecta calls her particular style R&B/Soul/Jazz. But as so many others have noted, there’s something quietly stunning here which transcends the dubious and oft-cheesy genre categorization. The songs on Dreaming Wide Awake teeter on the edge of popfolk production values, showing Wright in stellar control of a full range of emotion that runs from hushed R&B emotion to smooth bluesy harmonies to full-bore vocal jazz; it is telling to find both similarly powerful folkblues icon Toshi Reagon and versatile crossoverjazz guitarist Bill Frisell stepping in for guest slots here.

The Neil Young cover is solid folk poprock, both here and live via YouTube; the cover of seventies hippie hit Get Together is inevitably precious, but still manages to hold its head up. But it’s the Ella Jenkins folkcover that really blows me away: warm and viscous as honey, sultry and dripping with anticipation. A perfect album for fireside nights, whether you’re staring into the fire or cuddling beside it; snag it and her 2008 crossover release The Orchard — which includes several equally great covers, including a gorgeous rendition of Hey Mann, from folkblues a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock — here, direct from Verve.

Cover Lay Down posts new features every Sunday, Wednesday, and the occasional holiday and otherday. Stay tuned this week and beyond for more of the stuff you like best, including an exploration of the folkier solo output of one of my favorite stars of the late eighties and early nineties alt-punk scene, who is most famous for the band he formed in the hallways of my very own high school.

1,142 comments » | Jazzfolk

Harvest Coverfolk:
Because Full Is The Best Kind Of Thankful

November 26th, 2008 — 01:29 pm

Last year about this time I posted a few songs about giving thanks; this year, I was so appreciative for the wave of support which followed my call for patronage that I jumped the gun, posting my favorite coversongs of thanksgiving in celebration of you, my beloved readers.

Sharing those songs just a few weeks early was worth doing, though it preempts the obvious set of thankful songs and blessings. But this, too, is a gift. For it allows us an opportunity to delve a bit deeper into the sentiment that drives the holiday. And under the trappings of thanks, we find the history your middle school teacher tried to get you to visualize: namely, the Pilgrims were really, really hungry.

It’s worth remembering that Thanksgiving has its roots in the agricultural cycle — that it is, first and foremost, about that which we are thankful for, before it can be about the thanking itself. The American holiday that, these days, has less and less to do with buckle-hatted pilgrims and brown paper headdress indians was ultimately a holiday about sharing the harvest, just as much about survival and celebration of the very atmosphere as it was about any sort of appreciation for an objectified earth-as-other.

Indeed, much of what we know about the old ways suggests that to personify the earth as worthy of thanks was not as natural as it might seem today. For its denizens, to imagine themselves as separate from the very ground and sky which brought forth foodstuff was anathema to the innate sense of oneness which we have lost along the way. Giving thanks, in this sense, is a construct. It is, instead, the very act of sharing table, and breaking bread together, which shows our connection to the earth, and to the fields which we have left fallow for the long winter ahead.

Some harvest tradfolk, then, on the cusp of a day of family and friends at table: a cornucopia of song, from barleycorn field to huntin’ ground, and from farm to garden, to remind us of our place in the cycle of life, here and now and forevermore. Enjoy the day, and the fruits of the earth. As the days get shorter, and we look upon our larders and storehouses, let us pray, as we do each year, that we have put aside enough for another winter.

*Predominantly about planting, not harvesting, and not tradfolk, either. But harvest is a cycle, and we are all but part of it in turn.

PS: Like what you hear? Give thanks to the artists for the music; hit links to buy their best works, and become part of the cycle that is folk. After all, we cannot live on bread alone…

1,038 comments » | Holiday Coverfolk

Christmas, (Re)covered:
Are You Searching for Christmas Covers Past?

November 24th, 2008 — 11:42 pm

To my immense surprise, as of this morning, our statcounter is already showing searches for Christmas tunes, and the trend appears to be accelerating quickly. I’m saving one particularly popular holiday re-post for an upcoming stint as guest-blogger on BreakThru Radio, but far be it from us to hold back on what the people want. To kick of the upcoming holiday season, then, and in honor of the snow that is due to fall any minute now, I’ve re-upped the mp3s on this full set of Folkcovers for a Winter’s Night, a set of wintersongs and nondenominational carols posted last winter. Visit, download, and enjoy.

While we’re in the early holiday spirit, how about a few newer holiday tunes to whet your appetite for a season to come? This sweetly innocent Catie Curtis and Rose Polenzani cover of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was once available free from Rose’s website; it’s hardly apropos, given the clouds, but it’s hard to resist these gentle voices. And this second helping of wonderful, delicate indiefolk from Rosie Thomas’ brand new Christmas album is a half-cover, an incredible expansion of Christmas Don’t Be Late, turning what was once a 45 rpm Alvin and the Chipmunks earworm into a sweet carol complete with tinkly bells and an elves’ chorus; it may not be as secular as the others linked to above, but it is quite possibly my favorite new carol of the season.

965 comments » | (Re)Covered, Holiday Coverfolk

The Duhks Cover: Sting, Tracy Chapman, Gillian Welch et al.
(plus: the Top Covers of 2006)

November 23rd, 2008 — 09:24 am

I didn’t do a “best-of” list last year, and I wasn’t planning on doing one this year. But back in 2006, before the coverblog started, I posted a Top Songs of 2006 tracklist for my own amusement on my now-abandoned personal blog; the focus wasn’t covers, but the list included several, including Jenny Lewis and co. version of Traveling Wilburys hit Handle With Care at number 7, and Teddy Thompson’s Leonard Cohen cover Tonight Will Be Fine coming in a respectable fourth. It was, I am just now realizing, my very first music blog post; looking back, I’m quite pleased with how well it turned out.

Tied for number ten with The Be Good Tanya’s delicious interpretation of Prince hit When Doves Cry was a wonderful cover of Tracy Chapman’s Mountains O’ Things by Acadian folk-rock band The Duhks; though the songs ended up low on the totem pole, of all the tunes on that list, those two remain the ones I listen to most often today. Here’s what I had to say about that:

Two Canadian bands with female vocalists from opposite ends of the trad-alt-folk spectrum cover black American songwriter hits from the mid eighties. Exceptionally well. With banjo.

Ironically, though their playing styles are disparate, the originals were conversely so. The rough backporch plucking of Doves reframes the beatperfection of Prince’s original; the crisp, bright acadian-rock turn of Mountains brings the distance of a greek chorus to folkie Chapman’s raw, plaintive lament. And so on.

Both The Be Good Tanyas and The Duhks are known for strong covers; to combine them would be foolhardy and unwieldy. A coin flip says we’ll save the Be Good Tanyas for another day; happily, there’s much to say about both the collected coverage and the uniquely authentic modern sound of The Duhks.

I was lucky enough to see The Duhks live several times, most notably in a combined form with The Mammals billed as Platypus, a perfect taxonomy geek joke. Though their lineup has changed in the last year, and their newest album was a bit more poppy overall, in my mind’s eye, they’re still a wonderfully punk-looking collection of young folks, flitting around the stage with spunk and a keen eye for combining the traditional instruments and reels of their native Winnipeg with a fuller percussive beat.

Theirs is a particularly Acadian form of folk rock, almost celtic at times, funky with plucked strings and chunky with old-timey fiddle and strum patterns, its hybrid nature and its overall tone and timbre consistent with the burgeoning neotraditional movement we’ve been going on about here on Cover Lay Down. Their live performance is practically trancelike, and their album work is only slightly more Nickel Creek than Uncle Earl, balancing evenly between the traditional world and something new and reverent. As today’s set reveals, the sound is both thoroughly enjoyable, and perfectly suited to the discerning tastes of those who prefer their neotrad a bit more polished.

One-shot 2007 side project Turtle Duhks, which featured Jordan McConnell and Jordan Podolak of The Duhks and Lydia Garrison of Turtle Island Dream, leaned more towards the delicate, ragged appalachian side of the trend; the track featured below is somewhat of an anomaly on True Lover, but it is an exquisite conceit nonetheless, melodic and sweet, masterfully interpreted from the original recording by Akwasasne Nation wolfclan member Bear Fox, and in the original Mohawk language, too.

Fast Paced World was released in August to mixed reviews; I have heard the bulk of it, and though it is indeed transitional and a bit more singer-oriented, I think it marks a solid stop on the path that has become the Duhks’ march to folkfame and due recognition. There’s also some great sound in the live recordings from Merlefest 2007, which represent the first official recordings featuring new vocalist Sarah Dugas; their live version of Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love offers especially strong evidence that The Duhks are still The Duhks.

Out of respect for the label, I have chosen not to post any songs from those most recent works, but I recommend both, and all the albums previous; if you’re buying music this week or just thinking ahead for the folklover on your holiday list, head on over to The Duhks’ webstore to pick up their collected works, to for the Merlefest show, and to Sugar Hill for the Turtle Duhks project.

Oh, and Today’s Bonus Coverfolk is the rest of the covers off that 2006 Top Songs list. You didn’t really think I’d leave you hanging, did you?

Cover Lay Down publishes new coverfolk features Wednesdays, Sundays, and the occasional Friday or holiday. Like it? Vote for us!

964 comments » | The Duhks

Elseblog: Vote Cover Lay Down @ Stereogum
(Plus Mark Kozelek covers here and there)

November 20th, 2008 — 06:32 pm

Two posts in one day is off the charts for us here at Cover Lay Down, but since Heather is already recruiting, and you can only vote once, I thought I’d put in my pitch for voting for Cover Lay Down for Best Music Blog in this year’s Gummy Awards over at the uberpopular mp3 blog Stereogum.

Ordinarily, I’d never presume we were popular enough to worry about recruiting votes. But Fong wrote to let me know that Cover Lay Down comes up first on the autofill options for blogs beginning with the letter C; the autofill is generated when “several people” have already voted for a particular blog, so someone out there obviously thought I was worthy of mention.

Honestly, it’s an honor just to be on the autofill. Thanks to those who have voted for me already; may the best blog win. Oh, and vote here. One lucky voter will even win the top 50 CDs of 2008, as chosen by voters like you.

While you’re over at Stereogum, sign up for the Gum Drop, and you’ll net this week’s free mp3, an *exclusive* solo acoustic cover of Husker Du’s Celebrated Summer, as performed by Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and the Red House Painters. Tell ‘em Cover Lay Down sent you, and maybe I’ll even make the blogroll.

For bonus points before you go, here’s one of my favorite Kozelek covers, from his acoustic AC/DC covers album, plus Denison Witmer’s lovely take on the Red House Painters, previously posted here as part of our partnership with Denison in the weeks before he released his newest album. If you like the Kozolek, let me know; maybe one day we’ll do a full set.

1,263 comments » | Elseblog

Free To Be… Covered in Kidfolk
(a midweek singleshot)

November 20th, 2008 — 12:26 pm

Cover Lay Down generally publishes twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays; much more, and real life starts to lose out. But occasionally, when the moments warrants it, we like to sneak in a short post here and there. Today, when technogeek, sci-fi author, and new parent Cory Doctorow noted the recent rerelease of 1972 hippie-kid classic show/CD/book Free To Be…You And Me over at BoingBoing, something rang a bell; since I’m solo parenting this afternoon while the wife heads out to the big city, it seemed especially fitting to hop on the promotional bandwagon for their 35th anniversary set.

I’d say more, but the pull-quote from Cory is perfect:

It’s amazing. The new art is fabulous. And I’ve got the CD on now, and the music is just as great as I remembered. There’s Rosie Greer singing, “It’s All Right to Cry,” Michael Jackson singing “I Don’t Have to Change at All” (!), Alan Alda singing “William Wants a Doll,” Harry Belafonte singing, “Parents are People,’ the Smothers Brothers singing “Helping.” There’s Carol Channing reciting the cleaning poem, and Mel Brooks doing the convulsively funny “Boy Meets Girl” sketch. It is just brilliant.

And wonderful. If you were to distill the messages that every kid needs to hear to grow up to be a confident, loving individual who does what’s right even when society sneers, if you were to turn them into great songs, funny poems, without a hint of preachiness or condescension, it would be this book and CD. Every kid needs this book — and the organization that publishes it is every bit as great as the book itself.

Like Cory, I grew up on this lovely collection of skits, stories, and songs performed by a vertiable who’s who of pop culture icons from the pro-family seventies; like him, I fully believe that every family should have a copy in-house. To commemorate the rerelease, here’s a one-shot cover of one of my favorite songs from the album, originally performed by football player, bodyguard, actor, and all-around sensitive guy Greer, and given voice here by Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish fame; it’s not really folk, but the sparse setting is certainly light enough for our purposes.

PS: In other and totally unrelated covernews: the new Guilt By Association compilation is already making the rounds of blogs, both cover and indie-focused. Like the first set, which included the wonderfully warbly Oasis cover from freakfolkie Devendra Banhart which we posted way back in our Subgenre Coverfolk feature on Freak Folk (download links will not work, but the writing remains eternally live), the covers run the indie gamut from beat-heavy grunge to lo-fi bedroom covers; here, none are truly folk, but most are interesting, and a few are delicate enough to appeal to those coverlovers of folk sensibility. Stream the whole thing here courtesy of Engine Room Recordings, and then head to iTunes for download from there.

850 comments » | Kidfolk

Covered In Folk: The Band
(Dar Williams, Joan Osborne, Karen Dalton, Denison Witmer and more!)

November 18th, 2008 — 08:21 pm

Enough of the metaposts and navel gazing. As a triumphant return to normalcy here in our new home at Cover Lay Down, today we return to one of our favorite exploratory lenses: the covered songbook, as interpreted by a full set of artists from a wide swath of the folkworld who have been inspired by their contemporaries and musical forebears. Ladies and gentlemen: the songs of The Band.

Being of a certain middle age means having first experienced The Band in my most audio-graphically impressionable years, and in their best moment — on hiatus, after The Last Waltz, but before the guys reformed in the mid eighties without key player Robbie Robertson. It also means picturing those first few albums vividly, on already-worn vinyl, but not realizing until very recently the way in which The Band as a performing entity and songwriter’s collaborative sprung from their work as a back-up band, most significantly for Bob Dylan.

More visceral than critical, my childhood connection to the full set of raspy, ragged lead-and-harmony voices which the strong personalities of The Band traded among themselves doesn’t necessarily mean being able to tell the difference between a Danko composition and a Robertson-penned track. But that’s okay — there is, after all, such thing as a “typical” Band sound, or at least a range. And perhaps this consistency speaks to their popularity among folk fans, as much as it anticipates the strong tensions between strong and versatile musicians which would ultimately drive The Band apart.

In fact, the powerful, populist narrative songwriting which threaded through much of The Band’s most popular efforts alone (see, for example, this post from Star Maker Machine about Acadian Driftwood) would still be enough to explain why my father filed The Last Waltz near enough to Dylan, even though the countrified, occasionally bluesy rock and roll that typified their output in the late sixties and early seventies didn’t sound much like folk. And it certainly explains why, just as Joan Baez and other contemporaries mined the songs of The Band in the first years after their release, the songs of The Band continue to find their way into the performing repertoires of new generations of folk artists.

That said, as with so many oft-covered songbooks, many musicians and fans alike see The Band as underappreciated; Wikipedia, for example, suggests that The Band has had more critical recognition than popular success, and the predominantly indie crowd on the surprisingly consistent yet utterly unfolk recent covers album Endless Highway. But the continued relevance of the surviving members (see bonus section below) clearly rests as much on their cultural cachet as their musicianship. As an outsider, I’d suggest instead that The Band still gets plenty of play on classic radio, and what the DJs play will have its influence on the listening culture.

This, plus a penchant for richly detailed, highly melodic portrayals of the deep troubles of common men, makes them ripe for coverage. Here’s a few favorites, new finds and reposts alike, starting off with a favorite cover from Richard Shindell, the very first artist we featured on Cover Lay Down; the song was just as sweet this Sunday night, played live and solo and seen from the second row, as it was back then.

Band member Richard Manuel was lost just a few years after The Last Waltz to the ravages of time, touring, and a heavy addiction to Grand Marinier; Rick Danko died early, too, of a life worn thin by pill addiction. But like Dylan himself, the remaining original line-up remains closely connected o the music world. Robertson is reportedly working on a new album with Eric Clapton; fellow surviving member Garth Hudson does session work for Neko Case and Teddy Thompson. Meanwhile, after spending the nineties touring the jamband circuit, Levon Helm soldiers on in an americana/roots/old-timey vein, producing the next generation (including his daughter Amy, of neo-folk group Olabelle) and pushing the limits of authenticity in his own music.

Here’s Helm’s surprisingly Band-like cover of a Steve Earle favorite, off last year’s critically acclaimed ruralfolk album Dirt Farmer, plus an old Springsteen cover from the post-Manuel incarnation of The Band, complete with accordion and mandolin, which comes off as pretty acousto-rootsy. As always, if you like what you hear — here and above — hit up the links to purchase the music.

1,347 comments » | Covered in Folk, Uncategorized

A Coverblog Reborn:
I Could Take The Credit But It’s Thanks To You

November 15th, 2008 — 11:41 pm

Thank You

Welcome to, our new home on the web. Glad you found us. Mind the boxes and the lack of links on the sidebar; we’re still unpacking a few things. Apologies about any broken links in the archives; as noted previously, my old hosting service goes kablooey on Monday, and from here on in, in order to better preserve the sanctity of this blog as a vehicle to promote artists rather than undermine their sales, mp3 links will only remain up for a few weeks before being stricken. If you’re used to dropping in via bookmark, don’t forget to bookmark our new address.

It is my intention to return to normalcy as soon as possible — after all, as many of you made it abundantly clear in the past few weeks, you appreciate what we do here at Cover Lay Down, and we aim to keep doing it. But before we return to our usual model of music- and musician-centered posting, allow me one last self-centered metablog. Because this move would not have been possible without the wonderful outpouring of community support which came my way over the last few weeks, and I would be a poor blogger indeed if I did not take this time to recognize that effort.

First and foremost, then: I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Robbie, host and stellar designer of femmefolk blog Womenfolk. Robbie did the lion’s share of moving this blog to its new wordpress host; he also covered the redesign, donating over two days of his own design expertise and techie time to make this place feel like home, and he was perfectly gracious about doing it all over again when I called him and whined a bit about how it looked different than I imagined.

To fully honor Robbie’s contribution, I’ll be running a coverfolk feature on one of our favorite female cover artists sometime next week. In the meantime, if you get a chance, pop on over and thank him in person by adding Womenfolk to your feedreader. While you’re there, I highly recommend putting in your order for the wonderful Womenfolk: Volume One compilation CD, which is fully sanctioned by the great female artists whose songs appear on that disk.

Thanks, too, to Dean of Snuhthing/Anything for helping me sift through the many possibilities for blog and file hosting, and for ultimately finding me a hosting solution that is right for me. Dean, who is also a fellow collaborator over at Star Maker Machine, has been a stellar conscience and guide throughout the last few months, and it is because of his research and recommendation that I am proud to announce that as of this weekend, this blog is hosted by Iron Mountain, a completely green, solar-powered hosting service out of California that is run by some great and hilarious guys who actually care about us, what we do here, and what we aspire to be.

Iron Mountain hosting isn’t cheap — you’ll notice I’ve moved the donate button to its own page above, and I hope folks will consider the occasional coin in the hat here and there as we move forward. But with these guys, you get what you pay for. And I’m really excited to have found a hosting solution which matches the family-friendly feel and ecological aims of the folk music community.

More generally, but no less significantly: thanks go out to all of you who stepped up to heed the call for patronage through comments, emails, and donations. Never let anyone tell you that the world of social media rests on a faulty optimism. The fact that we are here, now, is proof that even in a world teetering on the edge of recession, people really are willing to open their hearts and minds and wallets, and give time and good cheer and cold hard cash, to support that which they love and appreciate. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the second chance you have given me.

But perhaps song will speak louder than words.

Thanksgiving is coming, and I had been saving this short playlist for the usual holiday coverfolk post, but I’m feeling so thankful these past few weeks, it seems like the holiday’s come a bit early this year. So we’ll close today with a short but broadminded set of thankful coverfolk, from The Waybacks’ post-bluegrass rock and roll to Eilen Jewell’s southern-fried countryfolk to Erin McKeown’s upbeat retro-swing, from the baritone bluesfolk growl of previously-featured Chris Smither to a surprisingly delicate acoustic turn from Soundgarden founder Chris Cornell. Plus an instrumental cover of a song which never actually says the words “thank you”, but always struck me nonetheless as a fundamentally grateful tune, tinged with just the right amount of humility.

Of course, in the end, this blog is about the music we love, and for that to continue, it is as vital as ever to support the artists whose labor brings us together. If you like what you hear, as always, consider following the above links to artist homepages and stores for product purchase and tour tracking.

Cover Lay Down posts new coverfolk features on Sundays, Wednesdays, and the occasional Friday or holiday. And we owe it all to you.

1,574 comments » | metablog

Cover Lay Down Status Update:
Rumblings from Behind the Scenes

November 10th, 2008 — 01:50 am

Just a quick note to let folks know that, although I’m holding off on posting anything of real significance this close to the move, thanks to some amazing benefactors and patronage, I’m hoping to have good news and a new site address sometime later this week. (Of course, there’s always room for a bit more encouragement as the process continues; if you haven’t had a chance to offer your support, please check out our call for patronage below.)

The plan is to resume regular twice-weekly posting, with the depth and breadth you have come to expect from Cover Lay Down, by next Sunday at the latest. In the meantime, here’s some coverfolk tunes to keep your ears humming while you wait, from Emm Gryner’s pianofolk take on a personal thrash metal fave to Tim O’Brien’s chunky newgrass take on an old gospel spiritual, and from the Irish siren croon of Cara Dillon to the Cape Breton Celtic of The Cottars. Plus two ragged favorites previously posted, just to top the list off right.

Cover Lay Down will return.

960 comments » | Cara Dillon, Emm Gryner, Redbird, Richard Thompson, The Cottars, Tim O'Brien

A Change Is Gonna Come

November 4th, 2008 — 11:47 pm

Thanks, America. I really needed some hope, and I know I wasn’t alone. Some relevant reposts:

  • Ben Sollee: A Change is Gonna Come (orig. Sam Cooke)
    (web release via multiple blogs, 2008; more Ben here)

  • James Taylor: A Change Is Gonna Come (ibid.)
    (performed on The West Wing, 2004; subsequent web release; more JT here)
  • Eva Cassidy: People Get Ready (live) (orig. Curtis Mayfield)
  • Eva Cassidy: People Get Ready (ibid.)
    (live in Annapolis, 1994 / from Songbird)

  • Jim Henry and Brooks Williams: I Think It’s Going To Work Out Fine (via Ry Cooder)
    (from Ring Some Changes)

Stay tuned for a status update later this week, folks. And thanks, immeasurably, for those who have already pitched in. The solution to our problems is within reach. Together, we really can make a difference.

966 comments » | Ben Sollee, Brooks Williams, James Taylor, Jim Henry

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