Neil Young and Crazy Horse Covers
Califone, For the Turnstiles
Son Volt, C’mon Baby Let’s Go Downtown
Two heavyweight rock groups covering the maybe-heaviest rock band in their own class. Califone have a noise to blues ratio that begs a Grifters comparison (that’s high praise here on the Prisonship). I first heard Son Volt – the song was ‘Last Minute Shakedown’ – while driving on New Joizee Route 1 + 9 with Amy and Danny; we played it at least three times in a row on the way to see GBV. Son Volt put out at least two of my top 20 albums from the 1990s (‘member the 90s?), and continue to press on with new members and a slightly more indie rock vibe.
More importantly, these covers are energetic, astute, and appropriate for each band. Put ’em on your mp3 machine. “For the Turnstiles” is a sleeper off of Neil’s On the Beach, itself a sleeper album that’s graced so many “underrated 70s album” lists that I’ve no energy to tout it anymore. “C’mon baby” first appeared on one of the two sans-Neil Crazy Horse albs. Written by Danny Whitten, Neil resurrected it for the elegaic Tonight’s the Night, recorded after Whitten’s overdose. (Ignoramuses – the Zuma, On the Beach and Tonight’s the Night trifecta stands as one of the great, morose rock trilogies of all time.)
Califone’s newbie Roots and Crowns came out Tuesday. Let’s hope they play Eugene again, and that I stay sober enough to avoid making them talk to me about how great the Grifters really were. Jay Farrar is gearing up the Gob Iron thing presently, but the most recent Son Volt sessions are said to have produced upwards of 25 new tunes. If “Circadian Rhythym” is any indication, I smell a return to form.