Category: Topical Coverfolk

Coversongs Called Blues: A SMM leftovers post
featuring upbeat covers from the folkworld and beyond!

September 19th, 2010 — 10:27 am

Last week’s songs with titles ending in Blues theme over at collaborative music blog Star Maker Machine may have ended – this week we’ll be posting songs that name a type of bird in their title – but my cup runneth over with coversongs that fit the Blank and Blues theme, including a good handful of folk blues numbers ripe for the picking. No true blues on my end today, of course, but many of these leftovers are quite upbeat when it comes down it – and regardless, it’s good to keep the laments in the air, just so you know where to find ‘em when you need ‘em.

That said, it’s hard to remember when I last had to sing the blues myself. Life is good enough to knock on wood. We’ve finally cleaned our house from top to bottom, making chaos into order to our great satisfaction. The kids, wife and I are spending more time together than ever, thanks to our roles in our local community theater production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And I’m proud to announce that after two years of unemployment, my wife has found a long-term substitute teacher spot just down the hallway from our own children’s classroom.

At work, for the first time in ages, I have my own classroom to teach in; with the ability to be there between blocks, setting up and checking in, I find myself both less stressed out, and more able to focus much better on individual students’ needs, and it makes a difference for all of us. And our house concert last night with Chuck E. Costa was nothing short of amazing, with a Chris Smither cover that came out great on video.

But the base sentiments of the blues are universal. That lingering sense of doom just around the corner never truly goes away, even in the best of times, and that’s not so terrible, really, as the everpresent anticipation for the other shoe to drop keeps us on our toes. Hearing others sing the blues helps us appreciate what we’ve got, too – that’s one reason people love ‘em. And they’re relevant in the spiritual sense, as this year’s Day of Atonement comes to a close, and I find myself still dwelling on the year’s sins.

Short and sweetly, then, from bluegrass to folk rock and back again, here’s a baker’s dozen of my favorite folk artists covering the blues in uptempo, feel-good mode.

Cover Lay Down posts new coverfolk features and songsets twice weekly or more without fail. Coming soon: Cover Lay Down turns three, and we raise the bar for donations to the cause…

1,036 comments » | Bluesfolk, Topical Coverfolk

I’m Only Sleeping: Coversongs about Sleep

May 6th, 2009 — 10:11 pm

I was dreaming, but I should have been with you instead…

Here at Cover Lay Down, we pride ourselves on our diligent publishing schedule — twice a week every week, Wednesdays and Sundays without fail. Which makes it all the more embarrassing to have passed out on the couch just after supper last night, never to return to full-bore consciousness until the morning light hit the window, warning me of impending tardiness.

To be fair, it’s been a long week already: parent meetings and a full-period professional development session between classes on Monday; a day out in the rain Tuesday teaching a handful of young but eager underachievers about the laboring trades, including hands-on experience in welding, backhoe driving, glass cutting, carpentry and bricklaying, at Construction Career Day out in Hopkinton. Then tonight’s school committee meeting went long, and…well, you know how time gets away from you sometimes. Now here it is, just an hour or two before deadline, and I’m scrambling to stay on track.

I could let it go, I suppose — take the easy way out, maybe finally repost that long lost Mary Lou Lord coverset that Blogger deleted back before we moved on to our own domain, or dig up last year’s tribute to the teaching profession in honor of National Teacher’s Appreciation Week. But I believe in Seth Godin’s admonition that the best way to beat the rut is to do the work. Plus, I just did a partial repost on Sunday, and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that there’s going to be a time and place for both schoolsongs and Lord’s grungefolk coming up in the next few months.

Which is to say: sorry for the eleventh hour post, folks, but never fear — there’s music here for everyone, from tradfolk to contemporary folk to the experimental side of the indiefolk world. In compensation for the mundania, the brevity, and the last-minuteness of the writing, here’s a full set of favorite folk coversongs about sleeping in, sleeping on, and dreaming the night away.

As always, if you like what you hear here, please follow artist and album links to purchase their work. After all, I may have flaked out for the evening, but I’m an amateur. The artists we celebrate stay up late, working to get the tunes down for our benefit. For this, they deserve both our respect, and our support.

1,309 comments » | Topical Coverfolk