david gray

Cover Wars: Long Black Veil

[Originally Published: October 19, 2010]

Hey everybody, DaveO here – over the next few weeks I am turning Cover Wars over to some of the other Hidden Track contributors to change things up a bit. Please welcome, Andy Kahn.

Lefty Frizzell first recorded and released this haunting ballad in 1959. Written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, it’s a first person, from the grave account of a man wrongly sentenced to death for a murder he didn’t commit. However, he’s unable to provide an alibi because that would reveal at the time in question he was sleeping with his best friend’s wife. The wife often goes to the narrator’s gravesite wearing the long black veil and mourning the secret that led to his execution. Since Frizzell’s original release plenty of other artists have tackled this heart-string-pulling ballad. A good lot of them are up for consideration below, but let me know in the comments if I missed your fav.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Dave Matthews: Those not steeped in the earlier folk stylings of the song might be most familiar with one of Dave Matthews’ performances. A staple of the Dave Matthews Band repertoire for years now, having first appeared on the 1999 live album Listener Supported, Matthews has also played duets with Warren Haynes, Tim Reynolds and as part of a tribute to Johnny Cash with Emmylou Harris.


READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…

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Tour Dates: Meet Middle Brother

At last year’s SXSW music fest, John McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit debuted their new roots-rock supergroup, which at the time

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Cover Wars: Buckets Of Rain

In the pantheon of gut wrenching, emotionally charged break up albums none may top the sheer heartbreak found throughout Bob Dylan’s 1975 release Blood On The Tracks. The album has been mined for its share of covers over the years, but it’s the first time we are actually featuring a track from what is arguably one of Dylan’s best LPs.

Cover Wars

While there may be a few more obvious choices, we’re going with the moody album’s melancholy closing track, Buckets Of Rain. The tune, which according to Wikipedia has astonishingly only been played live once by Dylan, is as tender as it is devastating with lines such as, “Like your smile, and your fingertips. Like the way that you move your lips, I like the cool way you look at me. Everything about you is bringing me misery.”

The Constestants:

Before hitting it big on his own, M. Ward was a member of Beth Orton’s touring band. The duo’s version finds Orton and Ward trading off on the verses, which was released as the B-side for the digital single of Heart Of Soul, a track that Ward co-wrote with Orton for her 2006 album Comfort Of Strangers.


READ ON for more covers of Buckets Of Rain from the likes of Neko Case, David Gray, Vic Chesnutt and more…

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Pullin’ ‘Tubes: Ray Goes The Solo Route

With three rather successful releases under his belt, Ray LaMontagne decided that he needed a change for his new studio album. The singer-songwriter, whose previous albums were all produced by

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Tour Dates: Going For Broke

After a handful of high profile warm up shows, which included a number of SXSW appearances, James Mercer (The Shins) and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) will take their new

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Volume 36: David Gray

I once dated a guy from Iowa. Over winter break of my junior year in college, I drove eight hours to his home in the blasting snow, mostly on a one-lane highway, so that we wouldn’t have to go an entire month apart. I listened to David Gray’s White Ladder on repeat the whole way there. The album was completely different than anything I had heard before; it felt symbolic of my budding relationship.

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Video: Phosphorescent – Reasons To Quit

Last year around this time, Brooklyn-based act Phosphorescent released a tribute album of sorts to one of their musical heroes, Willie Nelson. The album entitled To Willie features the band’s

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Tour Dates: The Lips Go To The Dark Side

The Flaming Lips are no strangers to concert theatrics – an average Lips shows features everything from Wayne in a bubble to hand puppets to confetti cannons. For their upcoming

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David Gray: Life In Slow Motion

Those expecting to hear the David Gray we knew from his breakthrough album White Ladder will be disappointed. But that doesn’t mean that his new album Life In Slow Motion is a let-down, it

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