The flip side to stumbling upon a great cover of a song you love is the amazing version of a lame, stinky song that made the bile rise into your mouth. John Travolta and Olivia Newton John singing You’re The One That I Want from Grease is enough to make me chuck. Angus and Julia Stone performing the same thing spreads a grin from ear to ear – go figure.
Every once and a while I stumble upon a great cover of some song I love. “Covering” another artists music is tricky; especially if the song is well known, or the artist has a unique voice or style. Tribute bands can scrape together a living playing rock for booze fuelled patrons in bars across the country; most likely decent musicians, but lacking the creativity or inexplicable quality to set them apart.
Often the most appealing “covers” are those performed by an artist who simply plays “tribute” by singing something from their heart and soul. No pretention, no mimicking, no effort. It’s no secret Neil Young is one of my favourite artists, I would place him at the top of my list. This lovely cover of Old Man by Elen Wendt put a smile on my face.