Covers of the Weeks 10th Anniversary — Volume I, II, and III

Photo by Bill Wadman

[Scroll down for Volume II].

It was the end of 2008. The country had just elected Barack Obama. My kids were 8 and 2. We were all so much younger then. I started a project called the Cover of the Week for my blog. Even blogs were a sort of cutting edge thing. I was not yet on the Facebook. I have mixed feelings about all of this.

My first recording was “Little Mascara” by the the Replacements. My whole November 29, 2008 post read:

I am undertaking an ambitious task, that is to record a cover song every week and offer it up here for your enjoyment, criticism, suggestions, tears, or laughter. I just feel like covering some of my favorite songs. The idea is an informal little pastime. I will not be fussing around with these. I just want to post some songs that I sit around the house playing.

Now, will I actually do a song a week? Probably not. But one must set goals in life. So instead of sitting around watching a TV this winter, maybe I will take a few hours a week and post a tune. Yeah, still working on some Buffalo Tom songs as well.

And here it is, week one of the Cover of the Week, the Replacements’ “Little Mascara.”

My review of the song on allmusic.com  from years back.

I actually stuck to that weekly challenge and found the project to be a highly rewarding exercise that taught me a lot about home recording and songwriting, learning as I covered songs by masters of the craft. I eventually ended up with over 100 over the course of two-plus years. And I wrote a bunch of essays related to the songs with sometimes direct, but oftentimes vague connections.

Eventually, I took them all down. They were all free and I was not collecting any money, and no one ever issued me a cease and desist, but it was not my music to give away. I had so many recordings I thought I would put it aside for a while and eventually maybe release it legitimately.

That is what I have started to do. Here you will find Covers of the Weeks Volume I. There are 15 of the first recordings. I went more or less chronologically but also semi-arbitrarily and tweaked them into shape. I remixed them, even re-recording some vocals, and sort of mastered them. I paid for the proper licenses so that the songwriters and publishers can collect the tiny amount of money the recordings will generate. I feel better about it. I know few people download files now and tend toward streaming. But it will help me offset costs if you actually download them via iTunes, Amazon, Deezer, or the music stores of your choice and then stream away as well. Spotify is live.

If this all goes well enough, I will continue to go dig out some more of the 100+ recordings and whip them into shape and release subsequent volumes of this. It only occurred to me as I remixed these this starting in December that it marks the 10th anniversary, almost to the month that I started this project.

The album is on Amazon here (as of this post, the first place but soon to be at other outlets). If you like it, please share it.

Here is are track listings and accompanying original essays (if they were worth including).

  1. Little Mascara (The Replacements) download
  2. Slip Slidin’ Away (Paul Simon) download
  3. Man Out of Time  (Elvis Costello & the Attractions) download
  4. Dreaming/Till The Next Goodbye (Blondie/The Rolling Stones medley) download
  5. You Won’t See Me (The Beatles) download
  6. Like Strangers (The Everly Brothers) (featuring Scott Janovitz) download
  7. Campaigner (Neil Young) download
  8. One Step Up (Bruce Springsteen) download
  9. Cul de Sac (Van Morrison) download
  10. Hardly Getting Over It (Hüsker Dü) download
  11. Boots of Spanish Leather (Bob Dylan) (Featuring Chris Toppin) download
  12. In a Misty Morning (Gene Clark) download
  13. Valentine’s Day (Steve Earle) download
  14. Straight to Hell (The Clash) download
  15. Johnsburg, Illinois (Tom Waits) download

Volume II

Download album here. I appreciate those who are purchasing the music helps to defray the costs, as I’ll get virtually nothing from streaming. Will be available on all music services.

  1. Ballad of Mott The Hoople (26th March 1972, Zürich) (Mott the Hoople)
  2. Ain’t That Lonely Yet (Dwight Yoakam)
  3. You and Your Sister (Chris Bell)
  4. Lodi (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  5. No Surprises (Radiohead
  6. Bell Bottom Blues (Derek and the Dominos)
  7. Bring It on Home to Me (Same Cooker
  8. Wendell Gee (R.E.M.)
  9. Comfort Me (Carla Thomas)
  10. Evening Gown (Mick Jagger)
  11. Carrickfergus (The Dubliners; Van Morrison)
  12. Ebony Eyes (Stevie Wonder)
  13. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle (Hank Williams)
  14. Brown-Eyed Women (Grateful Dead)
  15. House Where Nobody Lives (Tom Waits) [Could not get clearance] SO: Isn’t It a Pity (George Harrison)

Volume III

  1. Age of Consent (New Order)
  2. Gold Day (Sparklehorse)
  3. Thirteen (Big Star)
  4. Winter (Rolling Stones
  5. American Girl (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
  6. I’m Not Like Everybody Else (Kinks)
  7. Rocket Man (Elton John)
  8. Surfer Girl (Beach Boys)
  9. The Losing End  [These two Neil Young Songs were originally part of a medley. But since I had to license both individually at the same time I uploaded them for distribution, I had to separate them out]
  10. Cortez the Killer
  11. Love Lives Here (Faces)
  12. Agnes, Queen of Sorrow (Bonnie “Prince” Billy)
  13. In the Garden (Van Morrison)
  14. Cry Baby Cry (Beatles)
  15. Águas de Março  [licensing delay]. Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)

Here is a more or less complete list of covers I recorded. I hope to get to most of them at some point. Those that are struck are remixed, mastered and released or pending release:

A Soldier’s Things (Tom Waits)

Age of Consent (New Order)

Agnes, Queen of Sorrow (Palace Brothers)

Ain’t That Lonely Yet (Dwight Yoakam)

American Girl (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)

Annie (Ronnie Lane & Pete Townshend)

Ballad of Mott the Hoople (Mott the Hoople)

Beautiful Boy (John Lennon)

Bell Bottom Blues (Derek & the Dominoes)

Better Things (the Kinks) (you can find this one on Bandcamp)

Bless Your Foolish Heart (Jesse Winchester)

Blue Christmas and The Grand Tour (Elvis Presley/George Jones medley)

Bring it Home To Me (Sam Cooke)

Brown-Eyed Women (the Grateful Dead)

Please Come Home For Christmas (Charles Brown)

Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis (Tom Waits)

Comfort Me (Carla Thomas with Gladys Knight and the Pips)

Cry to Me (Solomon Burke)

Cry Baby Cry (the Beatles)

Deacon Blues (Steely Dan)

Ebony Eyes (Stevie Wonder)

Evening Gown (Mick Jagger)

Everything Flows (Teenage Fanclub)

Florida (Vic Chestnut)

Girls Talk (Dave Edmunds/Elvis Costello)

Glenn Tipton (Sun Kil Moon)

Gold Day (Sparklehorse)

Heart Full of Soul (Yardbirds)

Here Come Those Tears Again (Jackson Browne)

Here Comes a Regular (the Replacements)

House Where Nobody Lives (Tom Waits)

I’ll Get By (the Ink Spots)

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)

In Dreams (Roy Orbison)

In the Garden (Van Morrison)

Isn’t It a Pity (George Harrison)

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Bob Dylan)

Like Everybody Else (the Kinks)

Little Bit Of Soap (Jerry Butler)

Little Girl Blue (Nina Simone)

I Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow

Losing End (Neil Young)

Love Lives Here (the Faces)

Loving You (Elvis Presley)

It Makes No Difference (The Band)

Memory Motel (the Rolling Stones)

A New England (Billy Bragg)

What Are You Doing New Years Eve (the Orioles/Frank Loesser)

Oliver’s Army (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)

Rocket Man (Elton John)

Sunny (Bobby Hebb)

Surfer Girl (the Beach . Boys)

Sweet Tuesday Morning (Badfinger)

Sweetheart Like You (Bob Dylan)

The Bugle Sounds Again (Aztec Camera)

The Lethal Temptress (the Mendoza Line)

Thirteen (Big Star)

Today I Started Loving You Again (Merle Haggard)

Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Waterloo Sunset (the Kinks)

Waters of March  (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

Wendell Gee (R.E.M.)

Whispering Pines (The Band)

Willin’ (Little Feat)

Winter ( the Rolling Stones)

You and Your Sister (Chris Bell)

Carrickfergus (trad standard; Van Morrison)

Lodi (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

No Surprises (Radiohead)

Red and Gey and Mallo Cup (the Neats and the Lemonheads medley)

Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)


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