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.
Katie Brianna released her excellent album Dark Side Of The Morning earlier this year and it was the culmination of years spent perfecting her songwriting skills, along the way collaborating with the likes of Bill Chambers and Paul Kelly. The album combines light and dark themes in rich and mature instrumentation. Mood is paramount, formed and serenaded by Brianna’s voice that bleeds both heartache and emotional fortitude.
Van Morrison ~ There Stands the Glass
Written by Russ Hull, Mary Jean Shurtz and Audrey Greisham (Recorded at Austin City Limits, PBS, Nov 2006)
For an artist whose style truly does span over many genres, Van Morrison, like many it seems, has country music partly to thank for his beginnings in music. At eleven years old, he learned to play guitar with chords from a song book called ‘The Carter Family Style’. The Carter Family of course being well-known as ‘The First Family of Country Music’.
There Stands the Glass was first a hit for Webb Pierce in 1953 and had been covered by many other artists, including Loretta Lynn, before Morrison recorded it for Pay the Devil in 2006. That album is almost entirely made up of old-time country covers, but also features a few of his own compositions, written and performed in a similar style to the classic country tunes.
I honestly prefer the album version of this song. I suppose because it’s truer to the earlier recorded versions and really has a traditional honky-tonk sound that I love. This live version, recorded for Austin City Limits, does have a certain lazy, rambling charm to it, that suits the sentiment of the song. It’s one I’ve considered covering myself, but as my husband so delicately put it, “It really needs a drunkards touch”. I’ll keep working on that, but in the meantime I’ll leave it up to Van the Man.