Cover Wars: It Makes No Difference

Surfer/Musician Donavon Frankenreiter recorded this for an all covers EP released in 2007 titled Recycled Recipes. Donavon’s California-vibe somehow makes the song not sound so sad on this particular rendition.


In Cover Wars, I’m never sure whether or not to include versions that feature the original recording artists, but my general rule is that if they are a supporting musician, then it’s fair game. So we’ve got Garth Hudson (keyboardist from The Band) with his wife Maud Hudson singing lead in a brisk tempo from their 2005 release Live at the Wolf.


My Morning Jacket had the pleasure of recording It Makes No Difference for the 2007 compilation Endless Highway: The Music Of The Band at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, NY. In 2006, prior to the release of Endless Highway, My Morning Jacket frequently covered the song in concert including their Bonnaroo festival set as well as in opening slots for Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder frequently came out to trade verses with MMJ lead vocalist Jim James.


Eddie Vedder with MMJ:

2001 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Solomon Burke recorded this track for his 2005 release Make Do With What You Got. Don’t let the spoken word intro (which oddly is the second verse) fool you, this gospel interpretation kicks into full-gear with Burke singing his ass off shortly thereafter. A must listen.


While I can’t find it anywhere on The Internet (yep, this happens), I distinctly remember when Trey Anastasio was getting ready for his first solo tour with the horn section in the Winter of 2001, he mentioned this song in a few press interviews. More specifically, he said they were going to be playing the song and that he hoped his fans, “liked long songs”. Which I just found hilarious because It Makes No Difference, while a long song, is significantly shorter than many songs in the Phish catalog. This performance from Austin City Limits 2004 is one of the best sounding recordings of this version of Trey’s ever-changing solo act. Dave Grippo destroys the alto sax solo every time Trey Band plays this one. Source: 9-18-2004


No Bobby Vega on the bass, but a lot of the old members of Zero appear on this 2006 live recording including Steve Kimock on the guitar and the late Martin Fierro on the saxophone. Source: 3-10-2006


Checking in on last week’s Within You Without You Cover Wars, Sonic Youth and the Jimmy Herring Band currently are tied for first place.

The Last Waltz:


Solo acoustic Danko version from 1997:

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2 Responses

  1. My Morning Jacket played this on the “It Still Moves” Night during their Terminal 5 run this october. Have to say they killed it. My Morning Jacket is one of my favorite bands out there. They never dissapoint.

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