It’s time for another look at odd covers… Oddly awesome covers, that is…
I don’t know where I’ve been, but somehow I just found out that Williamsburg, VA native Bruce Hornsby collaborated with bluegrass star, Ricky Skaggs on a couple of albums. I grew up near Williamsburg and I remember the stir Hornsby made in 1986, when his album The Way It Is became huge. I followed his career for awhile, but then lost touch with his distinctive brand of music, a mix of jazz, bluegrass, Americana, folk, and mainstream rock. A Facebook friend reviewed the studio album Bruce Hornsby did with Ricky Skaggs and I decided I had to check it out… and that’s when I discovered their very unusual version of “Super Freak”, a song originally made famous by the late funk star, Rick James.
I have to admit, this version doesn’t make me recall the original. That’s not really a bad thing, since the original done bluegrass style might be truly ridiculous. But this is a pretty fun odd cover.
A few years ago, I had a surreal experience while watching a morning news show. I heard the familiar stirrings of a famous Irish band’s 1987 hit, “In God’s Country”. Yes, it was an old U2 song, but who was playing it bluegrass style? Why, it was the Infamous Stringdusters! And I have to admit, I liked what they were doing with “In God’s Country”, but that may be because I really like bluegrass.
The Infamous Stringdusters playing “In God’s Country”.
The Infamous Stringdusters are also apparently fans of The Police, too. Here they are covering “Walking On The Moon”.
I’m not sure I like this more than The Police’s classic take, but it does sort of add a little down home sensuality… and it could be considered an odd cover. Who would have thought a “newgrass” band would cover this?
Another fan of “Walking On The Moon” is Cas Haley. I first became aware of the Paris, Texas musician in 2007, when he was the runner up on America’s Got Talent. He sang his awesome reggae infused version of “Walking On The Moon” and I immediately downloaded his album.
I’m not sure the judges were quite ready for this…
Cas Haley also does a mean version of “Easy”, a song originally made famous by The Commodores.
Alison Krauss is no stranger to the occasional cover. She and her brother, Viktor Krauss, made a perfectly sensual version of “Big Log”, a song originally made famous by Robert Plant back in 1983.
I love this version of “Big Log” so much…
And finally, here’s Tom Jones doing his version of “Ring of Fire”, a song originally made famous by Johnny Cash. I was first alerted to this cover the last time I wrote about covers. The person who introduced me to this said she thought it was “horrible”, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I actually think it qualifies as an oddly awesome cover. I do like it, God help me.
…but I’m not so sure I like the choreography that much…
I like to do cover songs myself and I did actually do my own version of “Big Log”. You get extra points if you check it out!
The video has nothing to do with the photos… and the track is done in the style of Robert Plant, only raised a couple of pitches. I had fun with it.
Now I’m inspired to find more oddly awesome covers!