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Rewinding 2019 | The Coolest Covers

The best and the rest of the year's tribute offerings.

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Cover tunes are an essential cornerstone of music. I don’t know of a musician or a singer who didn’t start off playing other people’s songs. And I can’t name a single major artist who doesn’t have at least one cover in their back catalogue or set list. Here are the artists who took it a few steps further in 2019 and released entire albums of other folks’ music:


TINNITIST’S PICK

The Bird & The Bee
Interpreting The Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen

WHO ARE THEY? The L.A. indie-pop duo of dreamy chanteuse Inara George (whose father was late great Little Feat frontman Lowell George) and keyboardist Greg Kurstin (whose work as a Grammy-winning superproducer has sorta overshadowed his own songwriting and performing career).

WHAT IS THIS? Just what it sounds like: A lovingly lighthearted (and guitar-free) tribute album to the unbridled musical glory of California arena-rock hedonists Van Halen, as fronted by the one and only David Lee Roth (sorry, Sammy Hagar). For those keeping score at home, this is also a sequel to their likeminded 2010 tribute to moustache-pop masters Hall & Oates.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? First and foremost: Abso-freakin’-lutely awesome! George and Kurstin (along with studio musicians, old pals and VIP guests like Beck) transmogrify VH classics such as Runnin’ With the Devil, Panama, Hot For Teacher, Jump and Unchained into synth-fuelled pop, rock and jazz masterpieces — while reverently recreating virtually every helium-huffing shriek, fretburning lick, hyperkinetic drumbeat and vocal ad lib. To quote George quoting DLR: Oh. My. God.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Rayland Baxter | Good Mmornin
Big Band of Brothers | A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band
Alice Cooper | Breadcrumbs EP
Co. Townes | Van Zandt
Jesse Dayton | Mixtape Vol. 1
Eagles of Death Metal | Boots Electric Performing The Best Songs We Never Wrote
Steve Earle & The Dukes | Guy
Emil Bulls | Mixtape
Juliana Hatfield | Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police
Chrissie Hynde With The Valve Bone Woe Ensemble | Valve Bone Woe
Rickie Lee Jones | Kicks
Ben Lee | Quarter Century Classix
Corb Lund | Cover Your Tracks
Wynton Marsalis | Bolden: Original Soundtrack
Medicine | Scarred for Life
Joel Paterson | Let It Be Guitar! Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles
Jessica Rhaye | Just Like A Woman: The Songs of Bob Dylan
Chris Stamey & The ModRec Orchestra | New Songs For The 20th Century
Surfer Blood | Covers
U.K. Subs | Subversions II
Various Artists | Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits
Various Artists | If You’re Going To The City: A Sweet Relief Tribute To Mose Allison
Jimmie Vaughan | Baby, Please Come Home
Weezer | Weezer (The Teal Album)
Whitehorse | The Northern South Vol. 2

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