Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
13 APR 09 DAVID VIENNA
James Taylor's Other Covers features seven tracks originally recorded during the sessions that produced his recent Covers. Just as with the first, this second release highlights Taylor's unique gift for interpreting classic songs.
The tracks include an energetic rendition of Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood," which pays tribute to the song's Stax roots, and the nostalgic "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'," a track so full of down-home folksiness, I'm surprised Taylor hasn't put it on a studio album before.
The handful of songs span the musical spectrum. The disc transitions surprisingly naturally from the folk standard "Wasn't That A Mighty Storm" to Wilson Pickett's rocker "In The Midnight Hour" (originally co-composed with Booker T. & The MGs guitarist Steve Cropper as was the aforementioned Floyd track).
One of Other Covers' true gems is "Shiver Me Timbers," a Tom Waits cut that seems perfectly crafted for Taylor's gentle approach. The lonely violin accompanying his vocals make it all the more full of seafaring sorrow.
The songs from both discs were recorded in a barn that had been converted to a studio where Taylor and his friends got together and jammed out over 20 songs from fellow artists. He is on tour now and will surely be packing his sets with these and other beloved tracks.
Shiver Me Timbers
James Taylor, from Other Covers
James Taylor, from Covers
Booker T. & The M.G.'s, from Time Is Tight
in this playlist.