Yes! The long (actually, by any standards, very long) awaited return of Under the Covers. Once more, we give a band or artist the chance to consider that tricky fourth album of a major record deal – the covers album. Which songs make the cut? Will it just be a haphazard top ten list. Well, y’know, these things happen. Here is Fernando Poma, leader of El Salvadoran blues rock conquistadors, Steady Rollin‘, doffing his cap to those most worthy!
- Stormy Monday Blues – Cream Reunion at the Royal Albert Hall 2005
Love the rawness and authenticity of three instruments live. Always thought that Clapton’s best playing was live, and his studio recordings don’t do justice to his ability. The balance between all instruments is amazing. Ginger Baker’s blues paying is extraordinary especially his use and sound of the high hat and snare drum. Clapton’s licks throughout the song are so tasteful and his solo is one of the best with a natural build up to the point of bending one note for more than 15 seconds. The tension is so great you almost want him to stop. Amazing song which brings out the utmost abilities of the 3 band members, decades after the band disbanded.
- Over the Hills and Far Away – Led Zeppelin
This song encapsulates the best of Led Zeppelin, as it blends acoustic with electric guitar and has some amazing guitar riffs. Robert Plant’s vocals and range are edgy and intense. It is a song that really builds up and rocks but remains very melodic.
- Let it Loose – The Rolling Stones
Song starts out with a guitar riff with some chorus effect that was unusual for the times. This was recorded in what I consider their best years when they had Mick Taylor on lead guitar. What I love about the Stones and this song in particular is their incredibly organic, live sound. Listening to this song, I can only imagine that every take was different. It seems so alive. They seem to just go in there and play and record what comes out. It does not seem overly structured of planned. It has a very live feel. I read that the Stones have a “wobble” as, different from most bands, the drummer (Charlie Watts) follows the guitarist (Keith Richards) and not the other way around. That and the live feel of their music as well as the total abandon in the singing, makes them timeless. Few bands are those that you can listen to them for 40 years and never get tired of them. The Stones are unique in that sense.
- Psycho Killer Live – The Talking Heads
Love the authenticity of the acoustic guitar with the drums as well as the vocal structure and David Byrne’s range. Also, the different strumming speeds he used in the end part. It’s a song that really moves me.
- See Me, Feel Me – Listening to You Live – The Who
Encompasses the incredible energy of this band, where all members were incredible musicians that fit together well. The Who represent a real band, where each musician has its place. Their energy is extraordinary, and their live performances are unique. This mix of two songs builds on themselves and are part of the Tommy rock opera.
- Life on Mars – David Bowie
Bowie was just a genius. This song has so many unusual chord structures that keep it moving. It’s a song that touches your emotions and builds up to varying peaks. Hunky Dory (1971) which includes this song, marks and new path for Bowie that had such a huge impact on glam rock music and theatrical dress and shows related to music.
- Bell Bottom Blues – Derek and the Dominoes (Eric Clapton)
Ultimate desperate love song. “Do you want to see me crawl across the floor…..do you want hear me beg you to take me back…..I’ll gladly do it cause I don’t want to fade away, give me one more day please, I don’t want to fade away, its in your arms I want to stay…”. What more can I say….so much passion. All from the heart. Beautiful love song while keeping it so real. Here Im showing a live version of Eric Clapton playing the song.
- The Greatest Discovery – Elton John
Amazing lyrics about a parent discovering his newborn child. So tender. Elton transmits so much emotion and the message is so touching for anyone that has had and loves his children.
- Karma Police – Radiohead
Unusual changes in the song structure. Does so much with a repetition of the same chords. And then the major change in the last part. Radiohead is one of those genius bands that have so many interesting structural changes in their music and are always testing the limits of creativity while keeping it melodic. Also, they comprise a real band in that everyone has its place. There are no visually strong standout personalities hoarding the limelight butt rather a project that really works.
10 Am I Wrong – Keb Mo
Amazing modern blues from someone that has everything from lyrics, to vocal ability to playing ability. A very raw authentic song. Incredible slide playing.