Cover Wars March Madness: Sweet 16

Matchup #2

The Black Keys – Wicked Messenger

There are some real gems from the 2007 I’m Not There soundtrack and this is one of them. Previously on Cover Wars, Stephen Malkmus and the Million Dollar Bashers contributed a cover from the same release for Ballad Of A Thin Man. Source: I’m Not There (Music From The Motion Picture)



Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

Jeff Buckley: Buckley’s hauntingly dramatic version from his 1994 debut Grace is the best known cover of Hallelujah. It’s one of the best known covers of any song ever. Many people who love the Buckley version have no idea Cohen was the originator – I know I’ve met more than a few.


Matchup #3

Perpetual Groove – Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney) – A Play-In Selection

Perpetual Groove performing Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney from 10-30-2010



Wilson Pickett – Hey Jude (The Beatles)

And last but certainly not least, and I really mean that this week, is the definitive cover from Wilson Pickett. Just read the story about the recording over at It’s a damn good thing Duane Allman was able to convince them to record it, that’s all I gotta say. Source: Hey Jude


If you want to kill even more time, I recommend reading the comments section of this YouTube of Wilson Pickett joined by The Bee Gees:

Matchup #4

The Band – Baby Don’t You Do It (Marvin Gaye)

The Band released this under the name of simply Don’t Do It, not exactly sure why they dropped the “Baby Don’t You”, maybe one of our readers knows. This was first released on the live album Rock of Ages which was recorded during the last four days of 1971. Don’t Do it was also on the live release The Last Waltz recorded in 1976. A studio version was released by way of a bonus track for the 2000 Deluxe Edition of Cahoots, an album by The Band from 1971. Source: Rock Of Ages


Happy Thanksgiving. The encore from The Last Waltz:


Jennifer Hartswick with Umphrey’s McGee – Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers)

In her first of many sit-ins with Umphrey’s McGee over the years, Jennifer Hartswick performed this cover on 9-11-2005 at the Higher Ground in Vermont.


I unearthed this video off of an old computer of mine last night as I was writing this:

Matchup #5

My Morning Jacket – It Makes No Difference (The Band)

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:


Beck – Femme Fatale (The Velvet Underground)

Beck: Last Summer, Beck announced his Record Club project where he would bring in guest musicians and record entire album covers in one day. The first album they did was The Velvet Underground & Nico. He has since also recorded: Songs of Leonard Cohen, Skip Spence’s Oar, and they are currently still posting new tracks from INXS’s Kick every Thursday. Source: Record Club


Video of the recording of Record Club:

Matchup #6

Gov’t Mule – War Pigs (by Black Sabbath)

So, as I mentioned in the intro, 17-year-old DaveO saw Gov’t Mule destroy this tune. That concert was without a doubt a major influence during these formative musical years for me. I went out and immediately bought Mule’s Live…With A Little Help From Our Friends CD. Writing this piece and looking up the entry for War Pigs on, I was surprised to see that the performance I saw in Boston was just the third time it had been played.


Video from 12-31-1998, the first known performance and the version included in the audio above:


Widespread Panic – Lawyers, Guns & Money (Warren Zevon)

Widespread Panic: According the Everyday Companion the Southern jam titans first covered LG&M all the back in 1987, playing the song semi-regularly for a two-year period before shelving it for almost all of the ’90s – busting it out just twice for Halloween shows. The song returned back into rotation in 2000, and has stayed there since. Source: 10-4-2010


Matchup #7

Trey Anastasio – Row Jimmy (Grateful Dead)

The debut gig for “The Trio” featuring Trey Anastasio, Tony Markellis and Russ Lawton took place on February 15th, 1999 at the Higher Ground in Winooski, VT. The performance saw the debut of Row Jimmy and was a benefit for Very Special Arts Vermont. Two months later, Trey performed the song with Phil Lesh & Friends at The Warfield in San Francisco. When The Trio hit the road in May for a full tour, Row Jimmy made two more appearances and has since disappeared from Trey’s live repertoire. Trey has played Row Jimmy with Phil Lesh at least one more time: at the Vegoose festival in 2006, and it was not good. Source: 05/04/1999


Phil & Friends Video:


String Cheese Incident – Under African Skies (Paul Simon)

String Cheese Incident first played Under African Skies at their Halloween show in 1999 and it has stayed active in their rotation. There is some great video from that first performance, but it’s one of those annoying YouTube videos that has emebedding disabled, so you have to click here to watch it. Source: 10-31-1999


Video from Horning’s Hideout from this year:

Matchup #8

She & Him – I Put A Spell On You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)

Though not recorded on either of their studio albums, She & Him (which features Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) frequently covers the song in concert. An impressive vocal performance.

This video is from November of 2008 in Anaheim:


Kung Fu – Green Earrings (Steely Dan)

Kung Fu: This new jamband supergroup delivers a stellar 11+ minute rendition here. Todd Stoops, keyboardist of Kung Fu, also played this a few times in his other band RAQ. Source: 5-6-2010


Voting for Cover Wars March Madness Round of 16 closes at 9AM EDT on Friday, March 25. Check back later that day to vote on the Round of 8.

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One Response

  1. This tournament is all I have to love for right now. Please don’t fail me…….

    *puts shot gun in mouth*

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