Category: Mark Lanegan

Covered in Folk: The Kinks (Ana Egge, Kate Rusby, Trappers Cabin, Sia, Old 97′s and more)

August 30th, 2008 — 10:08 pm

For most of my life, The Kinks have been one of those bands that other kinds of people listened to. That I respect these people, and appreciate their inclusion of the odd Kinks tune on mixtapes and playlists, is kind of moot; the end result has been that while I like the poppy sound The Kinks bring to the table, it’s the kind of music I accept as background music, enjoyable but already there, part of that diverse mix of sound which fills the air around us. And the continued prominence of Kinks classics on soundtracks and classic rock radio has served the occasional itch in a surprisingly timely manner, leaving me perfectly happy to let the songs come up through the environment, rather than seeking them out.

There’s a hole in my musical education that swallows the British Invasion wholesale, in fact. Some of this is purely an issue of age and experience — growing up in the seventies in a household centered on Blues, Soul, and the American Folk Revival, I heard plenty of music that had been influenced by the jangly guitars and quirky, almost pre-punk pop sensibility, but very little of the actual Brits themselves; by the time I moved on to my own record collecting, it was the late eighties, and I was so excited by the emerging hip-hop, grunge and new folk scenes to find the time to go back and discover their musical roots.

But the more I hear The Kinks catalog done tenderly and with feeling, the more I regret missing out on developing a real love for this music. So many musicians have made real things of beauty out of The Kinks songbook that I have to assume there’s beauty to be found in the originals.

So for a while, I’ve been collecting Kinks tunes where I find them, both originals and covers, letting the bloggers I trust (that’s them on the sidebar) bring the right tracks to my attention; Divinyl sent along a few greats recently, lending fuel to the fire. And when three great covers came to my attention in the past few weeks, it seemed high time to share the best of a growing collection of tributes and covertracks from the pen of Kinks mastermind and songwriter Ray Davies.

Here, then, are Kate Rusby‘s gorgeous-voiced britfolk version of The Village Green Preservation Society, a delicate lo-fi bedroom cover of Shangrai-La from the huge collection of downloadable covers and originals at the Trappers Cabin website, and a sliding, bluesy take on Sitting in the Midday Sun from southernfolk fave Ana Egge, who is currently offering her wonderful all-covers album Lazy Days for under four bucks over at Amie Street (where the code “coverlaydown” will net new members $3 free towards your purchase). Plus a few more of my favorite, folkiest Kinks covers, just to make a proper playlist of it all.

Cover Lay Down posts new coverfolk content Wednesdays, Sundays, and the occasional Friday and Holiday. Coming up in the next few weeks: more old songs from new artists, one final summer folk festival preview, and yet another installment in our Single Song Sunday series. Y’all come back now, y’hear?

406 comments » | Ana Egge, Dar Williams, Kate Rusby, Mark Anthony Thompson, Mark Lanegan, Old 97's, Ray Lamontagne, The Kinks, Trappers Cabin