14 March 2008

Mix Tape Friday: Country Comfort

Favorite Boy and I recently saw a wonderful photography exhibit of Nashville’s finest singers and songwriters — which inspired this week’s post.

As I wrote when I waxed poetic about the Man in Black, I’m a Southern girl and I can't help but love country music. I prefer more traditional country music — Cash and Jones, Carter and Lynn, Haggard and Nelson, Twitty and Parton. Seems many of my favorite artists do, too, by this group of covers.

I’ve wanted to do a tape of country covers for a while. There are some great songwriters, and these interpretations are interesting. I broke one of my rules this week. I’ve included a couple of songs twice — Loretta Lynn’s “Rated X” and Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” — because the covers are so completely different.

Grab a pair of jeans and a longnecked Bud, and enjoy today’s hoedown.

R.E.M. :: Dallas

The White Stripes :: Rated X

Wilco :: 100 Years from Now

Syd Straw & The Skeletons :: Harper Valley PTA

Lyle Lovett :: Stand by Your Man

Richard Buckner :: Lovin' Her Was Easier

Shelby Lynne :: I Walk the Line

John Prine + Iris Dement :: (We're Not) The Jet Set

Teddy Thompson :: She Thinks I Still Care

Elvis Costello :: He’s Got You

Gomez :: Wichita Lineman

Beck :: Your Cheatin’ Heart

Cowboy Junkies :: Walkin’ After Midnight

Ryan Adams :: Lovesick Blues

Chris Isaak :: I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry

Grant Lee Phillips :: Hickory Wind

Linda Ronstadt feat. Emmylou Harris :: I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)

R.E.M. :: Jackson

The Jayhawks :: Ode to Billy Joe

John Doe :: I Can’t Hold Myself in Line

Kelly Hogan + John Wesley Harding :: It’s Only Make Believe

The Mekons :: Sweet Dreams of You

Wendy O. Williams + Lemmy :: Stand by Your Man

Neko Case & The Sadies :: Rated X

k.d. lang :: Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray

Jeff Buckley :: Satisfied Mind

Joan Osborne :: Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?

The Lemonheads :: Brass Buttons

Lucinda Williams :: You Don’t Have Very Far to Go

Marshall Crenshaw :: Silver Wings

The Pretenders + Emmylou Harris :: She

Calexico :: Casey’s Last Ride

Jason & The Scorchers :: Lost Highway

R.E.M. :: King of the Road

Since you’re clutching that Bud, you probably don’t have the extra hand (or dexterity) to right-click each of these, so here’s the zip file.

By now you’re possibly shocked that I didn’t include a cover of “Ring of Fire.” Well, I have so damn many, I’m giving the June Carter-penned Cash classic its own subsection:

Rings of Fire

June Carter Cash
Elvis Costello
Allison Moorer
Cigar Store Indians
Social Distortion
Joaquin Phoenix
Grace Jones
Wall of Voodoo
Country Joe McDonald
Dwight Yoakum
The Animals
Johnny Cash + Bob Dylan

Have a lovely hoedown of a spring weekend, kids.

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At 3/14/2008 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Mathdude said...

A Wendy O and Lemmy citing/siting! Mad props C-Cup!

At 3/14/2008 10:55:00 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Excellent! Yeah, traditional country is the only way to go ;)

Spring is springing -- even in Taylortucky, Detroit!

At 3/14/2008 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Splotchy said...

This is a fantastic idea for a mix.

At 3/14/2008 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

I was surprised to see no Cake covers on there. They're pretty much the only pop/rock group from whom I can stand to hear anything country.

At 3/14/2008 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

These are some great covers. One needs a touch of country every now and then to balance the world.

At 3/14/2008 03:41:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Yes, when I think of music, I automatically think of Wendy O. Williams and Lemmy.

Maybe there should be some John Hiatt on here. Everyone covers him! :)

At 3/14/2008 04:38:00 PM, Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Beth, you probably already know about this. But, just in case, I came right over here to point you to this article about R.E.M. offering their new album free online for a week.
Read it here.

At 3/14/2008 04:55:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...


At 3/14/2008 07:30:00 PM, Blogger Gifted Typist said...

That's fantabuloso Beth

At 3/15/2008 12:35:00 AM, Blogger jasonfred said...

I was having an absolutely dreadful Friday, but then I came here and you gave me two of my favorite things...Cowboy Junkies and Walkin After Midnight. What a sublime combo!

At 3/15/2008 12:51:00 AM, Blogger The Wandering Author said...

I just saw the news about the storm that hit Atlanta. My prayers are with you and all Atlanta right now.

At 3/15/2008 02:15:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Beth, you keep forgetting Dwight and K.D.

Um, you're it.

At 3/15/2008 06:18:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

I just woke up to tornado coverage on the new. I hope you and yours are okay Beth.

At 3/15/2008 10:00:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

This was wonderful! Maybe my favorite mix yet.

At 3/16/2008 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave in to the hoedown music and was pleasantly surprised. Thanks once again!

At 3/16/2008 11:59:00 AM, Blogger Sean Wraight said...

Incredible, incredible, incredible! And big thanks for remembering Neko and Canadian sons, the Sadies. To think I believed the White Stripes had the market cornered on that one.

Great mix! Very, very cool!

At 3/16/2008 09:22:00 PM, Blogger Doc said...

I would like to say: DAMN. What a grand mix!

Some of these tunes I know by heart, but one of my favorites was R.E.M doing King of the Road and M.S. could only remember one verse and didn't even get the chorus right. It's great to hear these grand, accomplished musicians flub their way through an old favorite. I expected Beck's version of Your Cheatin' Heart to be fast and funky, and it sounds more like a lullaby. I loved the Jayhawks cover of Ode to Billy Joe. Great rockin' guitar and some wonderful vocals. I would almost vote it my favorite of the lot, but I will always have a soft spot for Harper Valley PTA, as it was penned by my all time favorite singer/songwriter, Tom T. Hall. If you could find a couple of covers of his tunes, you'd make a country boy very happy.


At 3/16/2008 10:17:00 PM, Blogger Flannery Alden said...

I loved Beck! What a tender song...and REM doing King of the Road was great. Elvis Costello doing "He's got You" was perfect.


Grace Jones version of Ring of Fire made me throw up just a little bit. Did you know there is space invaders sound effects throughout this hot tranny mess? It's true...listen to it. I did. All the way through.

At 3/17/2008 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Winter said...

Love it.

At 3/17/2008 05:22:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

MATHDUDE: Thanks, M-dude!

ERICK DONALD FRANCE: The daffodils are blooming down here, which always gets me in a country mood.

SPLOTCHY: Thank you, sir. That’s a high compliment coming from the man we once loved as the Green Monkey Mixmaster.

BLOWING SHIT UP WITH GAS: I think I’ve used up my Cake covers on previous mix tapes, so I didn’t even hit their folder. Try some of these, though; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


At 3/17/2008 05:25:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

BECKEYE: I nearly included some of Mr. Hiatt’s covers, especially since Jeff Healey just passed away, but I tried to stay old school.

THE WANDERING AUTHOR: You’re back!!!! I’m counting down the days until that week o’ brilliant streaming — but thanks for the just-in-case.

GRANT MILLER: You’re so git’er done.

GIFTED TYPIST: Mucho gracias, Typist of Gifted!

JASONFRED: Isn’t it great when a song can turn a day around?

At 3/17/2008 05:27:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

THE WANDERING AUTHOR: Thank you for your concern. The worst of it was about two miles from me, so I just got wild thunderstorms. Freaky, huh?

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: Haven’t forgotten ‘em; saving them for later. I’ll do IT later this week, Brown Lightning.

DALE: See above. And thanks for e-mailing to check on me.

BUBS: You’re a man of taste. Of course you love this mix!

BLUEZ: I’m so glad!

At 3/17/2008 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

SEAN WRAIGHT: I have to admit, I think this is rather awesome mix tape. I love the different styles used for some of these classic tunes.

DOC: Don’t you love R.E.M’s sloppy, drunken “King of the Road”? As Peter Buck says at the end of the “Jackson” track here, Michael’s great at learning the first verse of every song, but that’s it. I had a few more Tom T’s on the first round, but I held them for a future tape. Keep watching.

FLANNERY ALDEN: That Grace track was pretty awful, pretty 1980s, wasn’t it?

WINTER: I’m so glad!

At 3/18/2008 03:16:00 PM, Blogger Tony Alva said...

I'm sending you two Keith Richards covers of Hank Willims tunes right now...

At 3/19/2008 10:24:00 PM, Anonymous filegod1 said...

You run a great risk when you take the sacred works of one musical genre and subject them to alternate interpretations. But once again Beth, you have pulled it off. The Cowboy Junkies put a whole new mood on one of my favorite artists classics. Harper Valley PTA is so money, and doesn't even know it. A fantastic version of "It's only make believe". 4 of the best female vocalists working, Neko,Shelby,Joan, and Lucinda. Elvis C. proves twice he is a golden God. And Yes Lyle, sometimes it IS hard to be a women.

Well played Ms. Coffey


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