I mentioned in my review of Chuck Prophet’s Waylon tribute album that I thought most country rock albums don’t work (i.e., suck). But I also said that they sometimes work. Here’s a few examples of the good ones. For the tunes covered, I avoided “pop” country tunes, like Amie, and rock/country bands, like Creedence and The Eagles. Also, you’ll notice an undue number of Cash covers. That’s because he’s cool. (You can tell he was cool ’cause he smoked and wore black.) I haven’t put up covers that are well known (like Social Distortion’s, “Ring of Fire”), either, because this blog is about expanding musical tastes, not confirming them.
Here’s 10 reasons to dig country covers, in order of how much you should dig them . . .
Your Cheatin’ Heart-Beck (Hank Williams Cover). I like this cover, but it’s very odd. And I can understand how some might find it boring. So it’s only the tenth best here.
Rhinestone Cowboy-Radiohead (G. Campbell) This one doesn’t rank higher because the band doesn’t really do a lot with it. but it’s still cool for the curiousity factor, if nothing else.
Get Rhythm-The White Stripes (J. Cash). Turning rockabilly into grinding blues. I wish this one were longer!
Crystal Chandeliers And Burgundy-Josh Ritter (Johnny Cash). A bit too much crowd noise, but I do loves me some Ritter. Such a great voice.
I Gotta Get Drunk-Redbird (Willie Nelson). If you aren’t familiar with Redbird’s brilliant album, you should be. Check out my old review of it, then go buy it.
King of the Road-The Clash (Roger Miller).
You Win Again-Alejandro Escovedo (Hank Williams).
It Makes No Difference-Eddie Vedder and My Morning Jacket (The Band). I recognize that the Band aren’t traditionally a country band, but they’re pretty damn close. And this is a great song, with great Eddie vocals.
Cocaine Blues-Uncle Tupelo (J. Cash). It may be unfair to call Uncle Tupelo rockers, but they definitely skew more rock than country. Besides, they kick ass.
I Still Miss Someone-Elton John and Ryan Adams (J. Cash). Ryan fancies himself a country boy, but he’s never gotten past indie Americana. These two guys together put on a great show, and this is a high point from it.