Grant-Lee Phillips (principal of Grant Lee Buffalo and the troubadour on Gilmore Girls) is out this week with a new collection of acoustic covers of ’80s songs called Nineteeneighties. This album seems to following something of a mini-trend of CDs built entirely of covers. Slaid Cleaves‘ latest, Unsung, is all songs of songwriters that you may never have heard of – and Jim loves it. An eclectic group of artists – including Tim O’Brien, Steve Earle, Bela Fleck, Guster and Marc Broussard – pay tribute to Randy Newman’s work on Sail Away. Susanna Hoffs (from the Bangles) and pop singer/songwriter Matthew Sweet put out Under the Covers, a nice set of obscure and not-so-obscure ’60s pop, around the same time as the Springsteen Seeger Sessions. And, Dave Alvin‘s new CD, West of the West, is covers of California singer/songwriters (listen to Dave on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross).
My favorite out of all of the covers I’ve heard recently has to be HEM doing REM‘s (see, it rhymes) So. Central Rain, which is also on the Grant-Lee Phillips album, bringing my ramble full circle. Do you have a favorite folk or acoustic cover of a rock tune? Please share!