johnny cash

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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Cover Wars: Heart Of Gold (Neil Young)

There have been a number of legendary singer/songwriters that have covered Neil Young’s Heart of Gold over the years such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, but it’s pretty safe to say we’ll never see Bob Dylan taking a pass at it. In a 1985 interview with Spin Magazine Dylan explained his annoyance with Heart of Gold…

The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about ’72 and the big song at the time was “Heart of Gold.” I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to “Heart of Gold.” I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I’d say, “Shit, that’s me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me.”

Honestly, I don’t hear it all that much. Does Bob Dylan have a trademark on acoustic guitar and harmonica or something? Anyways, we have a diverse set of covers this week, some from the world of soul music while others are more straight ahead. Have a listen and don’t forget to vote for your favorite.

The Contestants:

While not officially released on an album, The Bad Plus have a fantastic arrangement of Heart of Gold that they play live. Audio Source: 7-26-2009


READ ON for more covers of Heart of Gold…

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Bloggy Goodness: Silent Single

Last month, Radiohead front man Thom Yorke teamed up with Bryan Ferry, Mark Ronson, Bob Hoskins, tennis player Andy Murray and British Prime Minister David Cameron to record a charity single

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Bloggy Goodness: The Last From Cash

When uber-producer Rick Rubin first started working with Johnny Cash in the mid-’90s the country legend’s career was in a bit of a lull. The pair’s first album together, American

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Johnny Cash: The Great Lost Performance

This album, recorded at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ in the summer of 1990, finds Johnny Cash on his way back up. He was working with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings on the Highwaymen's second album during this time and this was not the shell of Johnny Cash that did variety shows in the 70s, but a very vital artist. All of this points in one direction: a fine performance. And that's just what was uncovered here.

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