Coming up on Sunday October 27th is an afternoon/evening of Sydney (and Newcastle) artists covering some of their favourite country songs plus they’ll play a few of their own. Inner Western (FB Event) is happening at the Petersham Bowling Club from 2pm. Ahead of the show we’ve asked some of the artists appearing to choose a favourite country cover by another musician and tell us what makes it special to them.
Sydney’s Roland Kay-Smith is best known as the frontman for Roland K Smith & the Sinners is also a solo performer and he’ll be bringing some covers and originals to the PBC accompanied by Jeff Pope (lap steel and guitar) and Scott W Bradbury (percussion and vocals).
Lyle Lovett ~ Stand By Your Man (by Tammy Wynette & Billy Sherrill)
Country music has a history of people covering each other’s songs. Handing down old songs to the next generation, as with folk and blues music, is a long held tradition. It’s an important one too – it helps the genre to evolve. Perhaps the next interpreters of the songs will add to them, modernise them, or uncover something new within them. Many country music artists have made covering other people’s songs a big part of their career; Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, and Elvis all come to mind. Even the greatest songwriter in the world, Bob Dylan, covers his fair share of other people’s songs. He’s great at it, too.
So with that in mind, and with so many country covers to choose from, my favourite cover song at the moment is Lyle Lovett and His Large Band’s version of Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man. I still remember where I was the first time I heard this version; I was in my drummer’s car on the way to do a show in Newcastle. Two things struck me about the song immediately. Firstly, the irony of the performance, here’s a man performing a song from a woman’s point of view, and secondly, that it is a really great song. Tammy’s version was so familiar to me that I had completely over looked it. I couldn’t find a video of Lyle performing this song, but I found something better – Lyle performing this song with Tammy. Enjoy.
Here’s Roland with his video for Dirt Farmer Blues, taken from his Blue and Green EP.