Friday, July 10, 2009

Cool Covers on the New Dale Ann Disc

Barry Mazor had a brief piece in the Wall Street Journal recently looking at Compass Records and three female bluegrass artists recording for the label: Alison Brown (the founder and co-owner of the label), Missy Raines (with her new band The New Hip) and Dale Ann Bradley.

The article begins with some boilerplate prose typical of "women in bluegrass" articles:

For a long stretch of its history, bluegrass was not a musical genre in which women were encouraged to take leading roles. The imagery, starting with the original Bill Monroe-Earl Scruggs model in the 1940s, was of skillful men calling the shots, singing high and picking really fast, really well.

I guess you have to do that.

Ultimately, I was most excited to learn that Dale Ann Bradley's new disc contains cover versions of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" and Fleetwood Mac's "Over My Head." (I'm personally excited about the Tom Petty, and I am excited to think that Ben will be excited about the Fleetwood Mac.)

"I Won't Back Down" is from Tom Petty's masterful Full Moon Fever album. Del McCoury previously has taken "Love is a Long Road" from the same album and turned it into a bluegrass barnburner for his classic Cold Hard Facts disc.

I'm looking forward to "American Girl" with a cool banjo riff someday.

(Article HT: my father.)

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