Mr. Blotto

Cover Wars: Helplessly Hoping

“Why don’t you do more Cover Wars that feature vocal harmonies?” I was asked last week. A great question, and obviously the motivation for this week’s selection. Helplessly Hoping is a track from the 1969 self-titled debut album from Crosby, Stills & Nash. The song makes heavy use of alliteration, a device that Stephen Stills – who wrote the song – humorously points out at the trio’s performance at Woodstock (which was the band’s only second live performance). After Graham Nash says it’s one of “one of the best ever written”, Stills quickly says into the microphone, “Helplessly Hoping Her Helicopter Hovers Nearby”.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Leading off this week we’ve got the Cover Wars debut of Acoustic Syndicate, a band from North Carolina known for their strong harmonies. Source: 12-28-2002


READ ON for more covers of Helplessly Hoping…

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B List: 10 Bands Covering Entire Albums Live

It’s no secret that many of our readers have had plenty of spirited discussions over the last few months, or maybe years, discussing what classic album Phish would cover at the next Halloween show. The concept of this live “Musical Costume” was launched by Phish on Halloween in 1994 when they performed The Beatles White Album in its entirety. Errr, except Good Night which was played over the PA system. And while Phish has done it three additional times – and a fourth if you include Dark Side Of The Moon on November 2nd, 1998 in Utah – they have also inspired many other bands to follow suit.

This week’s B List takes a look at ten other bands that have taken on the assignment of covering another band’s album in the live setting.

1. Jiggle The Handle covered Paul Simon – Graceland
8-12-2000 – Berkfest, Great Barrington MA


Leading off this B List we’ve got one of my favorite small jambands of all time, Boston’s Jiggle The Handle. This complete album performance was announced in advance. Well, it was announced they’d be performing AN album, and the choices were out there, it was between Graceland, Rift, Sgt. Pepper’s and Animals.

Humorously, the band started and ended their full performance of Graceland with teases of the opening tracks from the three albums not chosen, and a Jiggle The Handle tune – Walk Right Out Your Door. They bring on a little extra help from a number of other Boston-area-bands calling on: Dan Rockett, the horn section from Addison Groove Project and both Andrew & Brad Barr from The Slip.

Selected Audio: Teases > The Boy In The Bubble

READ ON for nine more bands that have tackled live full album covers…

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Cover Wars: Standing On The Moon Edition

While the world celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11, I made the best selection I could to fit the vibe and that is a track off of the Grateful Dead’s 1989 release Built To Last titled Standing On The Moon.

Cover Wars

Many in the Grateful Dead community have hypothesized that the outro lyrics, “A lovely view of heaven but I’d rather be with you” indicated a feeling from Jerry that while he appreciated the band’s success and fans, a part of him wanted to just be out in the crowd with everyone else. Makes sense.

The Contestants:

Big Frog: You may recognize this band from their spot opening for Phish back in 2000 during their Japan tour. The ever-elusive Phish opening act spot. Source: 8-1-2007


READ ON for the rest of this week’s Cover Wars contestants…

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