Category: Jeff Lang

Elseblog: Springsteen and Guthrie Covers +3 more covers of 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

August 8th, 2008 — 12:47 pm

It’s been a relatively quiet week over at collaborative themeblog Star Maker Machine, but I’m particularly proud of two coverheavy sets I put up earlier this week: a trio of Springsteen carsong covers from Ani DiFranco, Patty Griffin, and Townes Van Zandt, and a short set of tiny Woody Guthrie sillysong Riding in my Car, with covers by Springsteen and Cover Lay Down kidsong fave Elizabeth Mitchell.

Some good guest posts over there this week, too, from a few of my favorite new americana and alt-bloggers; I’m especially glad to see newcomers Payton (of This Mornin’ I Am Born Again) and Nelson (of A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz) aboard as regular contributors. Worth checking it all out.

But first, the coverfolk: When I first started sifting through the playlists to see what came up for a car theme, the field was rich; heck, we could probably have done a whole week on Cadillacs, if the current postset is any indication. But passing over all those trainsongs, bus and truckstories, and cycledreams was a good exercise, too: plenty of good music running through the brain at skim speed, plenty of future theme ideas. I’ve already posted versions of Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightning by The Mammals (here) and Del McCoury (here); here’s three more live but well-recorded covers of my favorite motorcycle song.

906 comments » | Elseblog, Greg Brown, Jeff Lang, Mary Lou Lord, Richard Thompson

(Re)Covered IV: More Covers of and from Sam Amidon, Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, and House Carpenter

February 8th, 2008 — 02:54 pm

Thanks to email submissions, new releases and discoveries, and a newly-purchased CD repair kit, it’s time for yet another edition of (Re)Covered, a monthly feature here on Cover Lay Down 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.

I saw Lucy Kaplansky last month at the UnCommon Coffeehouse with my father; as always, she turned in a wonderful, intimate set, including great covers of The Beatles’ Hey Jude, Robin Batteau’s Guinevere, Ron Sexsmith’s Speaking with the Angel, and my own request: Cowboy Singer, a Dave Carter tune which she seemed genuinely pleased to play. If you ever get a chance to see Lucy, drop everything and go.

We covered the works of Lucy Kaplansky in our first month here at Cover Lay Down, and posted Cowboy Singer last week in our feature on folk covers of cowboy songs. But I just can’t get enough of this sweet-voiced urbanite. So here’s Guinevere, which Lucy cites as her most requested song, plus a gorgeous Billy Joel lullaby from 2007 release Down at the Sea Hotel, a mostly-stellar album of dreamy kidsong covers from the Red House Records stable.

  • Lucy Kaplansky, Goodnight, My Angel (orig. Billy Joel)
  • Lucy Kaplansky, Guinevere (orig. Robin Batteau)

    Oh, and a bonus cover of Nanci Griffith’s Midnight in Missoula, one of two great Eliza Gilkyson cuts from that same kids album. We did a feature on Eliza Gilkyson’s coverwork a long while back, too. Worth revisiting.

  • Eliza Gilkyson, Midnight in Missoula (orig. Nanci Griffith)

    Since our Single Song Sunday megapost on House Carpenter, a couple of especially solid folkversions came in from the ether. Thanks to my readers for Dylan and live Aussie slidemaster Jeff Lang takes on this truly traditional English country ballad. The Pentangle version, off 1969 release Basket of Light, holds truer to the “original” lyrics than most modern covers but layers those lyrics over a truly psychadelic sixties instrumentation; the CD is out of print, so this cut comes to us courtesy of our local library system.

  • Bob Dylan, House Carpenter (trad.)
  • Jeff Lang, House Carpenter (ibid.)
  • Pentangle, House Carpenter (ibid.)

    And speaking of tradfolk: Sam Amidon‘s incredible new album All Is Well, which I wrote about several months ago in our post on Sam Amidon’s coversong career, finally dropped earlier this week. Here’s hoping the slight blogbuzz that accompanied the original hint of this moody all-tradsong indiefolk release turns into a mighty roar as it finally comes to the air. These two further cuts off the upcoming album, plus Sam’s own video for Saro, should whet your appetite enough to get in on ordering All Is Well.

  • Sam Amidon, Wild Bill Jones (trad.)
  • Sam Amidon, Wedding Dress (trad.)

  • VIDEO: Sam Amidon, Saro

    As always, links above and in the original posts whisk you off to label- and musician-preferred purchase sites. Support artists best by buying direct: it’s just that simple.

  • 750 comments » | (Re)Covered, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Eliza Gilkyson, Jeff Lang, Lucy Kaplansky, Nanci Griffith, Pentangle, Robin Batteau, Sam Amidon