Where female pop musicians tend to age out of the field, country musicians tend to possess a greater reverence for their predecessors, lionizing their greatness and proclaiming their influence at each and every opportunity.
Though this may be the time of year when cloying pop covers of Christmas songs are picked up from far too many supermarket checkout lines, let it not sour you on all covers completely. The ten artists listed herein are laudable exemplars of how to make the cover version an artform all its own.
Much like the film for which it serves as the sonic backdrop for, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' original songs and cover versions are both idiosyncratic and traditional. Those two may seem like good musical bedfellows, but here they're left to be a bland, unmemorable set of bluegrass songs.
As a fan of both Paul McCartney and the Beatles, I heard quite a bit about this special, and had low expectations. The event seemed focus too much on itself and its guests instead of the real reason they were there.
Whether writing or re-interpreting, Harris ingeniously utilizes the affability of each song’s structure with grace and respect, employing her crystalline voice to buff its rough components into a jewel.