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Updated: 2018-03-08T01:49:14.459-08:00


The Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away"


Born in 1954, Peter Case left Buffalo, NY at 15 years old to head west for a music career, ending up in San Francisco in 1973 as part of a band called The Nerves. Their biggest success came with the song "Hanging on the Telephone," which was recorded in 1980 in Blondie. Shortly after that, Case fronted a new band, The Plimsouls, with Eddie Munoz (guitar), David Pahoa (bass), and Lou Ramirez (drums). The band recorded an EP called Zero Hour in 1980 and a self titled debut album in 1981, before creating one of the greatest rock songs of all time, "A Million Miles Away." Here's a rare video of the band performing this timeless classic for a television show in 1983.

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"A Million Miles Away" is a really cool song that has stayed with so many over the years. This was mainly due to it's inclusion in the 1983 Nicolas Cage movie "Valley Girl," a film that seemed to run in perpituity on HBO throughout the 1980's along with Footloose, The Best of the Best, and Police Academy 1-27. In this scene from "Valley Girl," the Plimsouls play parts of two other songs, "Everywhere at Once" and "The Oldest Story in the World," as Nic Cage heroically overcomes the perils of the piss poor wingman and the super annoying tagalong girlfriend to make his big move.

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The Plimsouls - Everywhere at Once
The Plimsouls - The Oldest Story in the World

The Plimsouls quickly recorded an excellent power pop album where all these songs were included, Everywhere at Once, but the band had already broken up by the time the movie "Valley Girl" was released. Still, the continued quality of Peter Case's solo work and the Plimsouls' small but great body of work, promoted so well through this movie, led to many Plimsouls reunion tours over the years, albeit with some lineup changes. In the interim, Peter Case has continued producing quality work in his solo career, which often involves him leading songwriting workshops for other musicians. A few years ago, he underwent heart surgery and many legends worked together to record his songs for the tribute album A Case for Case to help him deal with his recovery.

Look for future posts on The Nerves and Peter Case's solo career later on. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy or download The Plimsouls' Everywhere at Once for $6.98 at

U2's Tributes to the Victims of the 1998 Omagh Bombing


On August 15, 1998, a car bomb in the Irish town of Omagh killed 29 people and injured 220 more. It was the worst terrorist attack in the history of the Troubles. It is a terrible story that has only gotten more difficult with the numerous setbacks in the long struggle for justice for the victims' families. If you'd like to learn more, there is a well written, comprehensive account of this atrocity here.On November 20, 1998, U2 was part of a tribute to the Omagh victims on an episode of The Late, Late Show. The audience included many family members of the victims. The band opened the show with a reworked version of "North and South of the River," a song that they originally recorded as a 1997 B-Side with Irish singer Christy Moore. This version is much better, though every time I see this, I can't help but wonder just where the hell that piano and the horns are coming from. U2 - North and South of the River (Live - 11/20/98)After artists including Bob Geldof and The Corrs performed, U2 closed the show with "All I Want is You."On their 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 included the song "Peace on Earth" about the incident, which referenced some of the victims' names.U2 - Peace on EarthAt the end of the summer of 2001, U2 played two nights at Slane Castle in Ireland, which were filmed and released as the DVD U2 Go Home. At the end of "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Bono emotionally recited the names of all 29 people who lost their lives before playing the song "Wake Up Dead Man." This was U2 at their very best. U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live - Slane Castle - 2001)U2 - Wake Up Dead Man (Live - Slane Castle - 2001)Thanks for checking this out. Buy the DVD U2 Go Home: Live at Slane Castle from[...]

Radiohead & R.E.M. at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert


On June 14, 1998, over 120,00 people attended the third annual Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Many great bands played the weekend festival, including Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and A Tribe Called Quest. The Dave Matthews Band also performed.

Radiohead and R.E.M decided to collaborate a bit during their sets. First, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe sang lead for Radiohead on this incredible version of "Lucky."

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Radiohead with Michael Stipe - "Lucky"

Second, Radiohead's Thom Yorke provided backing vocals for REM on their song "E-Bow the Letter."

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R.E.M. with Thom Yorke - "E-Bow the Letter"

Both of these mp3s came from Radiohead's ridiculous and tremendous 24 disc bootleg compilation made by their fans called "Towering Above the Rest," all of which can be torrented here.

If you haven't done so already, check out the excellent records by both bands that came out recently, REM's "Collapse Into Now," and Radiohead's "The King of Limbs."

Thanks for reading.

The Beastie Boys' Rare 1985 single "Rock Hard"


In the beginning, the Beastie Boys didn't rap, instead they played in a punk band with Kate Schellenbach, who would go on to be the drummer in the band Luscious Jackson. Here is an interesting three song set they played for the Scott & Gary Show on a public access cable in New York. The Beastie Boys changed direction, much to the chagrin of these two guys below, and in 1985 with producer Rick Rubin, they put out a 45 locally for the song "Rock Hard." The Beasties rapped over a sample of AC/DC's "Back in Black" riff, leading to this single becoming very rare. This is quite the awesome video by Anna Hrnjak, it needs to be said. Here's an mp3 of the full song: The Beastie Boys - Rock Hard (1985 single)The band tried their best to include this song on their 1999 compilation "The Sound of Science" but AC/DC wouldn't allow it. This is summed up in an article from the 11/11/99 issue of New Musical Express: “We originally had ‘Rock Hard’ on there because it was never widely available,” Mike D told NME. “So we had to go back to AC/DC for sample clearance. Their lawyer said no, so I decided to call them myself.““So I tracked AC/DC down in the studio in Vancouver and talked to Malcolm (Young, brother of Angus). And they were just not having it. He goes, ‘I’d love to do it for you guys, but it’s ‘Back In Black’ - one of the top three songs we’ve ever written!’ Whatever. AC/DC could not get with the sample concept. They were just like, ‘Nothing against you guys, but we just don’t endorse sampling.’”Adrock: “So we told them that we don’t endorse people playing guitars.”‘Rock Hard’ has been replaced by ‘She’s On It’ which the Beasties describe as “not one of our top three songs.”The Beastie Boys returned this week after a hiatus while Adam Yauch underwent successful cancer treatment with the tremendous album "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two." Even better is the 30 minute video for "Fight For Your Right Revisited" which was written, produced, and directed by Yauch and features a ton of great actors. It's a lot of fun to watch this and the original video from 25 years ago back to back, since the one leads right into the other. Buy "Hot Sauce Commitee Part Two" by the Beastie Boys at[...]

Marah - 10/18/06 - Bonn, Germany - Rockpalast Crossroads Festival


Some of my favorite shows that I will remember forever involved going to see this version of Marah. The band was fantastic, the venues were intimate, and the fans there were some of the best people I've ever met. This lineup toured for the excellent album "If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry." It featured founding members David and Serge Bielanko on vocals and guitar, Kirk Henderson on bass and keyboards, Adam Garbinski on guitar, and Dave Petersen on drums. These five guys together were incredible and this full show is great evidence of that. Check it out and if you like what you see, order the live dvd "Sooner or Later in Spain" below to see a longer show. The original YouTube videos were deleted but you can see the full concert by following this link here. There are mp3s of a soundboard recording of a full show in Ferrara, Italy on 5/01/06 at the great blog Captain's Dead here.

Order Marah's live DVD/CD "Sooner or Later in Spain" from

A Message From Your Blogger


I decided to take a little time off from this blog... and somehow that became a lot of time off. I kept all the links working, unless a record company or an artist wanted the post or the mp3s deleted, and was pleasantly surprised to check today and see that this blog has had over 53,000 visitors. That's a lot of music collections that are just a little bit better and it feels good to have been a part of that.

I missed updating this blog a little too much. I've got a million ideas for what I want to put on here. I have a ton of music to share that isn't really out there on the internet, is pretty hard to find, or just deserves to be heard by a lot more people. So thanks for stopping by and except to see a new post here every few days or so. It's all happening... again.

Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert Revisited


On October 16, 1992 at Madison Square Garden, Sony Music put on a pay per view all star concert to celebrate Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary on Columbia Records. Dubbed "Bobfest" by Neil Young from the stage, the four hour show featured a wide variety of artists performing Dylan songs. It was too bloated, but there were many highlights. Here are some videos (with some mp3s) of the best performances. Eddie Vedder was joined by Pearl Jam bandmate Mike McCready and Saturday Night Live bandleader G.E. Smith for this seering version of "Masters of War." Eddie Vedder - Masters of WarThe night allowed for a variety of musical styles, usually to great effect. The best example of this was the O'Jay's reprising their classic cover of "Emotionally Yours."The O'Jays - Emotionally YoursThere were also some fun collaborations. Here are Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Rosanne Cash taking turns on "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere."Booker T & the MG's backed up most of the artists on this night. Here they really got to show their stuff with Neil Young on a fantastic "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."Neil Young - Just Like Tom Thumb's BluesAnother great moment was when George Harrison played what I believe is his only live performance of a song he covered early on in his solo career, "If Not For You."The highlight of the show was when Neil and George joined Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, and the guest of honor, Bob Dylan, among others on "My Back Pages." Of course, no all star concert would be complete without an even more gigantic singalong, this time on "Knocking on Heaven's Door." After all of that, Bob came back to the stage alone for one last encore, singing "Girl from the North Country," before exiting to a huge standing ovation. Hopefully, this concert will be available on DVD at some point, but in the meantime, you can order the live album below. Thanks for checking this out. Buy Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration from[...]

Neil Finn's First "7 Worlds Collide" Project in 2001


Neil Finn is the legendary singer/songwriter who has made a lot of great music with Split Enz, fronting Crowded House, and on his own excellent solo albums. This past winter, he again brought together a large group of musicians, including members of Radiohead and Wilco, to play a series of shows in his native New Zealand. This time, the group took the band name of 7 Worlds Collide and recorded a double album of new songs, Sun Came Out. There will be a post on this blog next week about this album, (I have to listen to it first!) but in the meantime, you can order it here.Before that, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at Neil Finn's first "7 Worlds Collide" project in 2001. Neil put together a great group of musicians, including:Tim Finn, his brother and collaborator in Split Enz, Crowded House, and Finn BrothersJohnny Marr, guitarist and songwriter for The SmithsEddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl JamLisa Germano, a solo artist & former violinist for John MellencampEd Obrien, guitarist in RadioheadPhil Selway, drummer in RadioheadSebastian Steinberg, bassist in Soul CoughingThe musicians rehearsed for a few weeks before playing a week's worth of shows in New Zealand. The final concert in Aukland was recorded for the DVD and CD release Neil Finn and Friends - 7 Worlds Collide: Live at St. James.In this first video, Neil explains the process of putting everything together before the band opens the final show with the Crowded House classic "Fall at Your Feet."Along with Neil's own songs, the band played music from each other's careers. One of the highlights was Neil singing lead on the Smiths' song "There is a Light That Never Goes Out." This video is followed by the mp3 from the live album. Neil Finn & Friends - There is a Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover)Eddie Vedder was an important part of the shows, usually taking lead on some of his favorite Split Enz tunes. The first two videos here are followed by mp3s. Neil Finn & Friends (w/ Eddie Vedder) - Take a Walk (Split Enz cover)Neil Finn ft Eddie Vedder - Stuff and nonsenseMauro|MySpace VideosNeil Finn & Friends (w/ Eddie Vedder) - Stuff & Nonsense (Split Enz cover)The coolest part of the DVD was when when Eddie joined Neil's son Liam's band Betchadupa (where Liam played drums) midset to cover a few Split Enz songs. What makes this especially cool in retrospect is that since then, Liam had made a great solo album, I'll Be Lightning, and has been the opening act on many of Eddie's solo shows these past few years. Here's their first time working together:Liam's uncle Tim joined in on this wild performance of "I See Red." The project also showcases Neil's phenomenal second solo album, One All. Here they perform one of the most beautiful songs you'll ever hear, "Last to Know."Last To Know - Neil FinnNeil Finn|MySpace Music VideosAnother great moment in the concert film came when everyone got together near the end for "Weather With You," another classic song from Crowded House. To check out an older post about Neil and Tim Finn's first band Split Enz, (w/ some covers by Pearl Jam), go here.Thanks for checking this out. Look for a post on the new 7 World Collide project next week. Buy the CD and DVD Neil Finn & Friends - 7 Worlds Collide: Live at St. James on[...]

Lindsay Buckingham's "Holiday Road"


In 1983, the movie National Lampoon's Vacation was released. This hilarious comedy followed Clark Griswold and his family as they traveled across the country to visit Wally World. The movie was a huge hit that spawned three great sequels and it is a classic that people watch again and again on DVD. If you've never seen it, you probably live in a cave and/or are severly deprived.

After taking the lead in creating the incredibly ambitous and adventurous album Tusk with Fleetood Mac, Lindsay Buckingham went on to release an excellent debut solo album Law & Order in 1981. The following year he returned in a much more limited songwriting role with Fleetwood Mac, and the result was the popular but artistically mediocre record Mirage in 1982. He then contributed a song to the Vacation soundtrack, "Holiday Road," that recalled the brilliance of Tusk. It was an infectious pop masterpiece that became something of a cult classic, due to the popularity of the movie and the song only being commercially available on the out of print film soundtrack.

Here's the song featured prominently in the trailer for National Lampoon's Vacation:

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The popularity of the movie and the song led to the creation of this bizarre, but really cool video, which is followed by an mp3 of the original version.

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Lindsay Buckingham - "Holiday Road"

In between his last two stellar solo albums, Buckingham released the concert cd/dvd Live at Bass PerformanceHall in 2008. It contained a rare live rendition of the song.

Lindsay Buckingham - Holiday Road (from Live at Bass Performance Hall

Look for plenty more on Lindsay Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac in the future. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy Lindsay Buckingham's Live at Bass Performance Hall on

The John Train Band (featuring Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner)


For many years now, one of the best bands in Philadelphia has been John Train. On stage and on record, lead vocalist and songwriter Jon Houlon does a deft job of mixing his great own songs with some well chosen covers pretty seamlessly. At his side since the beginning, playing amazingly on all kinds of guitars has been Mike Brenner, known for his excellent work with Marah and with his own band Slo-Mo. They've both been backed up by a talented group of musicians. The current lineup includes Steve Demarest (bass), Bill Fergusson (mandolin), Mark Tucker (guitar), and Mark Schreiber (percussion, drums).Their most recent record, Mesopotamia Blues, was produced by Brenner and focuses on the war in Iraq. The songs look at the war and the region from a variety of perspectives. What really makes the record is the production and guitar work from Brenner, who helps to add some intresting Middle Eastern sounds, especially here.John Train - Equipment FailureAt the center of the record are two songs that combine to tell an interesting story. The first of which is a cover of the late John Stewart's song "Draft Age," about a young man named Clarence Mulloy being sent off to Vietnam.John Train - Draft Age (John Stewart cover)This cover is followed by the song "Mulloy 2006" where Houlon writes of a middle aged Clarence Mulloy now faced with his son heading off to Iraq. This video and mp3 are from the band's performance at the Sellersville Theater on November 21, 2007.John Train - Mulloy 2006 (Sellersville, PA - 11/21/07)A typical John Train show features a lot of great covers. Here's a video and mp3 of one of my favorites, also from the same Sellersville show, Butch Walker's "Box Cars."John Train - Boxcars (Butch Walker cover - 11/21/07)Two more live covers of old folk traditionals recorded in Fairmount Park in July of 2007.John Train - "I Know You Rider"John Train - The Wind and the RainWe'll close this one out with one last cover, Hank Williams' "You're Gonna Change or I'm Gonna Leave" from Johny Brendas in Philadelphia on September 21, 2007. John Train is currently in the midst of their annual fall residency, playing every Friday night at 6 at Fergie's in Philadelphia, PA. It is always a great time so come check them out if you are in the area. Download John Train's Mesopotamia Blues at[...]

The Levon Helm Band's "Electric Dirt"


(Note: due to someone who works for Levon Helm not wanting me to share mp3s, the two Levon Helm tracks are no longer available. Sorry about that.)By singing many of their greatest songs, while also being a fantastic drummer, Levon Helm was an important part of what made The Band one of the greatest rock groups of all time. Here he is at his best, singing the classic "Up On Cripple Creek" on stage at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh in 1970, followed by the original studio track. The Band - Up On Cripple CreekIn the late 1990's, Levon lost his voice and was diagnosed with throat cancer. In this interview here, Levon recounts what it was like to survive this and eventually sing again at the Midnight Ramble shows at his home in Woodstock, NY. The continued strength of these shows and Levon's improving health and voice led to the release of his solo album Dirt Farmer in 2007. The album was recorded with his Levon Helm Band which featured his daughter Amy Helm, along with Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jimmy Vivino, Mike Merritt, Brian Mitchell, Erik Lawrence, Steven Bernstein and blues harmonica player Little Sammy Davis. The highlight of this record for me was his cover of Steve Earle's "The Mountain." Levon's world weary voice added something special to this version. Here's a fan made video made up of some great old photographs.The Levon Helm band engaged in successful touring along with continuing a run of Midnight Ramble shows in Woodstock that were more popular than ever and featured many great musicians joining in from night to night. This led to the recording of the excellent follow up Electric Dirt, which opened with a fun cover of Jerry Garcia's "Tennessee Jed." Here's the band's recent performance on The Late Show with David Letterman.I got to see The Levon Helm Band open up for the Black Crowes in Atlantic City on July 29, 2009. While Levon had to rest his voice and could not sing, the rest of the band filled in admirably, taking some excellent turns on lead vocals for many new songs and classics from The Band. We also got a couple of fun surprise guests too.Here's the Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson singing lead on "Tennesse Jed."Chris and Rich Robinson joined in for the last song of The Levon Helm Band's opening set, "The Weight."Look for plenty more on The Band, Levon Helm, and The Black Crowes here in the future. Thanks for checking this out. Buy Levon Helm's Electric Dirt on[...]

Ten Live Covers From The Black Crowes


Chris and Rich Robinson formed the Black Crowes in 1984. There are have been a lot of highs and some lows on their records over the years, but they have always remained a hugely successful live act. One of the big reasons for this is their ability to mix in great covers into their sets. Here are some of the best that have been captured on video over the years. A fun video (with some hilarious crowd shots) of the Crowes covering Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35" at the 1991 Monsters of Rock Festival in Moscow.A cover of Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Alright" on the first anniversary of The Late Show with David Letterman in 1994. The Crowes recorded the album Live at the Greek in October of 1999 (and later toured) with Jimmy Page. The album featured mostly Led Zeppelin songs and one of the better versions they did was for "What is and What Should Never Be."After a three year hiatus, the band reunited in 2005 and recorded the live CD/DVD Freak and Roll... Into the Fog. The highlight was the closing song, a cover of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Here's the video and the mp3. The Black Crowes - The Night They Drove Old Dixie DownIn 2006, keyboard player Eddie Harsch and guitarist Marc Ford left the band. They were eventually replaced by Adam MacDougall and Luther Dickinson (of the North Mississippi Allstars). Joining original members Chris and Rich Robinson, bassist Sven Pippen, and drummer Steve Gorman, they've made two excellent studio albums and released most of their concerts on their website Here is a sampling of ten great live covers that they've mixed into their shows in the last few years. Listen to these tracks and you will hear why this latest Crowes lineup is one of the great live rock bands around today. The Black Crowes - Live Covers from 2008 & 2009Torn and Frayed (Rolling Stones cover) - from Warpaint LiveCan't You Hear Me Knocking (Rolling Stones cover) San Francisco, CA - 12/19/08Ohio (CSN&Y cover) Cleveland, OH - 7/30/08He Was a Friend of Mine (Bob Dylan cover) New York, NY - 11/03/08The Mighty Quinn (Bob Dylan & The Band cover) Philadelphia, PA - 7/01/08Don't Do It (The Band cover) Hampton Beach, NH - 6/19/09Oh Sweet Nuthin' (Velvet Underground cover) Alantic City, NJ - 8/29/09Boomer's Story (Ry Cooder cover) Westbury, NY - 9/04/09Hot Burrito #2 (Gram Parsons cover) Asbury Park, NJ 9/05/09So Many Times (Stephen Stills cover) Woodstock, NY 2009The last track was recorded live in front of an audience, along with the rest of the double album Before the Frost... Until the Freeze, during a series of five shows at Levon Helm's barn in Woodstock, NY. Like the cover above, the whole album is phenomenal and well worth checking out. To truly get the most out of the Black Crowes experience though, you have to see them live, since they've never been better.Thanks for checking this out everyone. Buy the Black Crowes' Before the Frost... Until the Freeze on[...]

John Prine and Iris Dement's duets on "In Spite of Ourselves"


In 1999, John Prine released In Spite of Ourselves, a brilliant album of duets with nine of his favorite female singers and an excellent group of musicians backing him up. The record was a collection of classic country covers that tells the story of the many ups and downs of a relationship. Mostly downs though since there are a ton of great cheating songs at the core of this album. John had some incredible duet partners for this, including Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Patty Loveless. The highlight of In Spite of Ourselves though, and his classic concert promoting the album on the late great cable show Sessions at West 54th, were the songs he sang with Iris Dement, one of the most talented singer/songwriters to come from the country genre in the past 20 years. Here are three of their duets from the best episode of Sessions at West 54th, followed by the studio tracks from In Spite of Ourselves. John Prine w/ Iris Dement -We're Not the Jet SetJohn Prine w/ Iris Dement -Let's Invite Them Over AgainThe best song on the album was the title track, the only song on the record that was a John Prine original. It was originally written for what became the unreleased Billy Bob Thornton film Daddy and Them, as he explains in a funny bit at the beginning of the video. This is the rare song that somehow manages to be hilarious, poignant, and beautiful and it is one of my all time favorites. John Prine w/ Iris Dement - In Spite of OurselvesIf you don't own it, you should definitely pick up the John Prine DVD Live from Sessions at West 54th here, but in the meantime, here is one big mp3 file of the five songs John and Iris sang together that night. John Prine w/ Iris Dement - Five Live Songs from Sessions at West 54thIf you'd like to listen to more from Iris Dement, check out a previous post on this blog abour her first album Infamous Angel right here.Look for plenty more posts about John Prine and Iris Dement on this blog in the future. Thanks for checking this out. Buy John Prine's In Spite of Ourselves from[...]

Ten More Covers of Bruce Springsteen's Songs


Bruce Springsteen is turning 60 this week. In honor of him, let's put up ten more covers of his songs from some other great artists. If you missed it, there are ten more favorite Bruce covers from an earlier post on this blog here.Ten more excellent covers of Bruce Springsteen's songs:The Hollies - Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)David Bowie - It's Hard to Be a Saint in the CityThe Band - Atlantic CitySteve Earle - State Trooper (Live)Johnny Cash - Highway PatrolmanElvis Costello - Brilliant DisguiseCrooked Fingers - Mansion on the HillDamian Jurado & Rosie Thomas - Wages of SinMarah - Streets of PhiladelphiaJohn Train Band (featuring Mike Brenner) - Independence DayThe last track was recorded to promote a concert celebrating Springsteen's birthday from Philadelphia's great public radio station WXPN at World Cafe Live on September 23rd. Many tracks were recorded at the XPN studios by local Philly artists who will all be performing these songs live on Wednesday night. The live show will be broadcast on from 7-10, but in the meantime, check out a playlist of the recorded tracks here or below. Buy the best Springsteen tribute album, Badlands: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska at[...]

The White Stripes covering Dolly Parton's "Jolene"


Our Dolly Parton weekend concludes with her biggest hit of the 1970's, her song "Jolene" from 1974. It is an emotional, powerful song and it is easy to see why it was so popular. This was her first #1 song and it solidified Dolly as a country star, launching her into much more mainstream and crossover success in the future.

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Dolly Parton - Jolene

Very early on in their careers, the White Stripes took to covering the song in their live shows. Their version is phenomenal and it was the highlight of both their 2002 Glastonbuy Festival set, as well as their 2001 session for John Peel's BBC radio show, as you will see and hear below.

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The White Stripes - Jolene (2001 John Peel Sessions)

For a link to the full John Peel Sessions, check out a previous post on this blog here.

The song was also an important part of The White Stripes' 2005 concert film Under Blackpool Lights.. Here's the video and audio of that performance.

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The White Stripes - Jolene (from Under Blackpool Lights)

We're going to give Dolly a rest for a while, but there will be more on Jack White's other musical endeavors sometime soon. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy the White Stripes' DVD Under Blackpool Lights from

Trio (Dolly, Emmylou, and Linda) covering Neil Young's "After the Goldrush"


Neil Young's third solo album, After the Goldrush was released in 1970. It featured more sparse and introspective songs than the heavier rock with Crazy Horse at the center of his second album, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. At the heart of this album was the title song, a brilliant, timeless classic that remains as powerful and relevant as ever. Here's live video from the concert film Rust Never Sleeps and the studio track (with a 17 year old Nils Lofgren on piano).

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Neil Young - After the Golrush (1970)

Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt reunited for their second album together Trio II in 1998. Their first album together, Trio, in 1987was one of the greatest records from that time, where all three women supported each other on classic country songs. When they finally recorded a follow up, they broadened their horizons with some inspired song choices. Nowhere was this more evident than in their cover of "After the Goldrush." Dolly sings the lyrics, while their angelic voices blend together to sing the choruses. The results were amazing.

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Trio (Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt) - After the Goldrush

Hopefully, these ladies will sing together again and there will be a Trio III someday.

Buy the album Trio II at

Dolly Parton Covering Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"


(image) Yes, this actually happened and amazingly, somehow, someway, it was awesome. Go figure. Everybody and their mother knows all about Zep's "Stairway to Heaven" so what's the sense of writing about it. Here are two live versions of the song. The somewhat lackluster performance from their MSG concert film The Song Remains the Same, followed by the tremendous version from their most recent live album, How the West Was Won.

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Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven (from How the West Was Won)

Not many artists have ever dared to cover "Stairway to Heaven." Dolly Parton had just the right mix of ignorance and brilliance to pull off a very different, yet fascinating take on the song. Working with some top notch bluegrass musicians, Dolly pulled off the unimaginable and the results were surprisingly good. It was good enough for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to approve of it, even letting Dolly add some of her own lyrics of her own at the end of it, as explained in this Entertainment Weekly article here. Here's Dolly describing why she covered the song on her 2002 album Halos & Horns.

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Here's a live performance of the song, followed by an mp3 of the studio track:

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Dolly Parton - Stairway to Heaven

Look for a post on The White Stripes covering one of Dolly's best songs very soon.

Download Dolly Parton's Halos & Horns from

Emmylou Harris Covering Donna Summer's "On the Radio" (Link Fixed)


Giorgio Moroder composed many of Donna Summer's huge disco hits in the late 1970's and early 1980's. One of the best tracks they made together was the song "On the Radio." Here's the music video for the song, followed by the studio track.

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Donna Summer - On the Radio

On her underrated 1983 album White Shoes, Emmylou Harris covered "On the Radio." No, Emmylou did not go all disco on us. Instead, she chose to keep the slower tempo used at the beginning of Donna Summer's version throughout her take on the song. I've always thought that this was some of Emmylou's very best singing on this track, with the result being haunting and beautiful and in a way that only Emmylou could pull off.

Emmylou Harris - On the Radio

I don't know if I can promise you much more Donna Summer, though she is pretty great, but there will be plenty more from Emmylou here in the future, so keep checking back for that. Thanks for reading.

Download Emmylou Harris' album White Shoes from

Gillian Welch covering Radiohead's "Black Star"


Radiohead released their classic second album The Bends in 1995. Though it wasn't one of the singles, one of the better songs on the record was "Black Star." Here's a live performance from London in 1994, followed by the studio track.

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Radiohead - Black Star

"Black Star" became the basis for one of the best cover songs I have ever heard when Gillian Welch put her own spin on the song and then released it as a live download in 2005. Here's her performance of it with her frequent collaborator David Rawlings at the Bonnaroo Festival in 2007, followed by the originally released track.

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Gillian Welch - Black Star

Check back here for a few more interesting covers this week and look for plenty more posts on Gillian Welch and Radiohead in the future. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy Gillian Welch's excellent debut album from 1996, Revival, at

The Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg Vol. 2 ("Cuffed Collared Tagged" and "Gag a Maggott")


Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams, Oscar Tony Jr., and Tommy Dowd at Capricorn Studio in Macon, GA, February, 1970 This is the second in a series on tbe reissues from one of the most underappreciated artists in pop music, Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams. You can read the previous post on this blog about The Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg Volume 1 here. This post focuses on Volume 2. The first album featured in Volume 2 is Cuffed Collared Tagged. Swamp Dogg was very active in the peace movement during the Vietnam War and the first track on the record reflected that. In this extraordinary, soulful cover of the John Prine classic "Sam Stone," Swamp Dogg would have his biggest hit ever. Here he is performing the song at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on April 26, 2008, followed by the original album track. Swamp Dogg - Sam StoneAnother moving song from the record was the autobiographical ballad "In My Resume." This performance is from the same 2008 show, followed by the original recording. Swamp Dogg - In My ResumeIf there was a favorite subject that came up in Swamp Dogg's early records, it would have to been marital infidelity. The Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg Volume 2 features two of his best songs on the subject. His vocals convey the crazed madness in the funkiest murder ballad you'll ever hear, "Your Last Dirty Trick," and painful helplessness evident in "Please Let Me Kiss You Goodbye."Swamp Dogg - Your Last Dirty TrickSwamp Dogg - Please Let Me Kiss You Goodbye"Please Let Me Kiss You Goodbye" was originally on the second album featured in this collection, Gag a Maggott. Curiously, the closing track of that album, "Plastered to the Wall," didn't make it onto this collection. It is a great song though, so I'll include it here. Swamp Dogg - Plastered to the WallIn looking back for information on this record, I was pleased to find out that Swamp Dogg just released a new album of covers Give 'em as Little as You Can...As Often As You Have To...or...A Tribute To Rock 'n' Roll. I've been enjoying it and it is well worth checking out. Thanks for reading. Look for more on the Swamp Dogg reissues in the near future. Buy or download The Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg Volume 2 from[...]

Blind Willie McTell and Bob Dylan


Blind Willie McTell was a blues singer who was born in 1901. He is well regarded by many prominent musicians and critics today as one of the great blues legends due to his haunting vocals, brilliant lyrics, and deft picking on his 12 string. He spent most of his life struggling through many hardships. Although he never recorded what would have been considered a hit song, McTell would record under a different pseudonym for each record agent he encountered, using such incredibly cool names as Georgia Bill, Barrelhouse Sammy, and Red Hot Willie Glaze. In doing so, he left behind an interesting and prolific body of work that spanned over 50 years. Late in his life, McTell became a preacher before passing away in 1959. You can read more about him in this article by Jim Powers here.Here are four of the best recordings from Blind Willie McTell:Blind Willie McTell - Statesboro BluesBlind Willie McTell - Brokedown EngineBlind Willie McTell - You've Got to DieBlind Willie McTell - Deathroom BluesMany musicians have named McTell as a huge influence, including such greats as the Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal, and Jack White. They've recorded many of McTell's songs and used some of their favorite lines of his in their own work. It can be argued though that no one has ever paid greater tribute to a fellow musician than what Bob Dylan achieved with his astounding song "Blind Willie McTell." Recorded in the early 1980's, Dylan chose to leave the song off of his Infidels album. Some have argued that Dylan feared writer's block and wanted to keep some of this best songs in reserve or never felt the song was fully realized, but for whatever reason it remained unreleased until a version from the Infidels sessions appeared on the 1989 box set The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3. Bob Dylan - Blind Willie McTell (from The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3)Another interesting take on the song from the Infidels sessions has been widely bootlegged. I prefer this version due to the looser, wilder feel that it has.Bob Dylan - Blind Willie McTell (Infidels Outtakes)Dylan began performing the song live in the late 1990's and it was often the highlight of the night when it made it into the set. The best cover of the song that I've heard was recorded by The Band, who included this excellent version on their 1993 album Jericho.The Band - Blind Willie McTellBob Dylan also paid tribute to Blind Willie McTell by recording two of his songs for his tremendous and often overlooked 1993 album of covers, World Gone Wrong.Bob Dylan - Broke Down EngineBob Dylan - DeliaIf you're new to the site, be sure to check out my post about Bob Dylan's appearance promoting Infidels on "Late Night With David Letterman" in 1984 here.Buy Blind Willie McTell's Atlanta Twleve String, an excellent recording of a 1949 session at[...]

Ten Rare Covers from Lucinda Williams


Lucinda Williams has included some great covers on her albums (most recently with the AC/DC cover on Little Honey), but she has also sprinkled many covers here and there on various benefit and soundtrack compilations. Here are ten of the best hard to find covers by Lucinda Williams that I've found out there in the ether. Enjoy.

Lucinda Williams - Postively 4th Street (Bob Dylan cover) - 1993

Lucinda Williams - You Don't Have Very Far To Go (Merle Haggard cover) - 1993

Lucinda Williams - Main Roads (Victoria Williams cover) - 1993

Lucinda Williams - Here in California (Kate Wolf cover) - 1998

Lucinda Williams - Cold Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover) - 2001

Lucinda Williams - Nothin' (Townes Van Zandt cover) - 2001

Lucinda Williams - Lately (Greg Brown cover) - 2002

Lucinda Williams - Hang Down Your Head (Tom Waits cover) - 2003

Lucinda Williams - Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings cover) - 2008

Lucinda Williams - Marching the Hate Machines (The Flaming Lips & Thievery Corporation cover) - 2008

This last cover is excellent and part of a digital only EP that Lucinda released in October of 2008 called Lu in '08. It also features covers of Dylan's "Masters of War," Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," and a new song, "Bone of Contention." There is a link to download it below.

Thanks for checking this out. Look for a post on five of Lucinda's best duets in the next few weeks.

Download Lucinda Williams' digital EP Lu in '08 at

Neil Young - 5/29/99 - Austin, TX - Audio from the Silver & Gold DVD


Neil Young released the concert dvd Silver & Gold as a companion piece to the 2000 solo album of the same name. While the album itself is very good, this live performance far exceeds it. On May 29, 1999, Neil took the stage at Bass Concert Hall in Austin, TX. From the full show, Neil included 13 songs on the DVD. The highlights on this record include three excellent songs from a mediocre 1999 CSN&Y album, "Looking Forward," "Slowpoke," and an absolutely stunning rendition of "Out of Control," a song that is astronomically better here than the original on record.

Other high points include a rare live version of "Philadelphia" and an interesting take on "Long May You Run" with Neil on pump organ.

I would highly recommend getting the dvd, but I decided to post the audio here because this is particularly great driving music, as well as some good stuff to go to sleep to at night. Enjoy the show.

Neil Young - Silver & Gold Live (Audio from the DVD)

01 - Intro
02 - Looking Forward
03 - Out of Control
04 - Buffalo Springfield Again
05 - Philadelphia
06 - Daddy Went Walkin'
07 - Distant Camera
08 - Red Sun
09 - Long May You Run
10 - Harvest Moon
11 - The Great Divide
12 - Slowpoke
13 - Good To See You
14 - Silver & Gold

Buy Neil Young's DVD Silver & Gold at

The Beastie Boys - Live on BBC Radio from Manchester - 12/06/04


The Beastie Boys' new album Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1 drops on September 15th. In the meantime, to tide you over, here is what I think is their best bootleg. It is a performance from Manchester on December 6, 2004 that was recorded for BBC Radio. The Boys are in top form here but the real highlight of this bootleg is the amazing work from their DJ Mix Master Mike, who splices in so much cool music from countless classic records for the guys to rap over. If they attempted to put this many samples into an actual Beastie Boys studio record, it would probably cost a billion dollars. But on a live show, they can go nuts, and that's exactly what they do here. This show also makes for some great workout music, although I speak from experience that you may get a few funny looks from people at the gym if you spontaneously declare that you are intercontinental when you eat french toast. The Beastie Boys - 12/06/04 - Manchester, UK (Live on BBC Radio)01 - Triple Trouble02 - Sure Shot03 - Body Rock04 - Time to Get Ill05 - Super Disco Breakin'06 - Skills to Pay the Bills07 - Shake Your Rump08 - An Open Letter to NYC09 - Right Right Now Now10 - Paul Revere11 - Body Movin'12 - Three MCs and One DJ13 - Check It Out14 - Intergalactic15 - SabaotageIf you want more, here's video 45 minute set of the Beastie Boys performing in Amsterdam on the same 2004 tour. Thisfeatures an incredible six minute intro from Mix Master Mike Check it out here.It will be interesting to see how they promote Hot Sauce Committe Pt. 1. They have hinted Pt. 2 being an mp3 only release, perhaps a free one. We shall see. I doubt though, that they could ever top this classic infomercial that aired on cable and public access television in the weeks leading up to the release of Hello Nasty. Update: Adam Yauch recently announced in the video below that he has been diagnosed with cancer. He described it as very treatable and hopefully, that will be the case. The album release has been postponed for now and the upcoming shows have been cancelled. Hoping that all goes well and that they will be back soon.[...]

Allison Crowe Covering the Counting Crows


I listened to the Counting Crows' debut album August and Everything After far too much growing up. I got tired of hearing it everywhere, but it still survived all this time on my Ipod because it is a pretty good album. As for the rest of their cds after that, well, let's just say they make some pretty good coasters.

Sometimes though, an artist can cover a song and bring a whole new life to it, arguably improving on the original version. Perhaps the best example of that that I have heard in some time is Canadian singer Allison Crowe's slowed down take on the Crows' song "A Murder of One" with just a piano backing up her powerful, moving vocals. Check out the sound clip from YouTube below before downloading the track.

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Allison Crowe - A Murder of One

Allison also recorded a nice version of "Raining in Baltimore," another song from August and Everything After

Allison Crowe - Raining in Baltimore

There are free downloads of many of Allison Crowe's albums, which are filled with many other great covers, on her website here.

Thanks for checking this out.