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Country Covers #5 – A Ramalama chooses a favourite

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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 2 (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.

Paul Everett is the shortest drawer of straws in Sydney’s The Ramalamas so he gets to choose a song ahead of this weekend’s gig. The band recently released their great new album Brass Razoo and have been playing a bunch of shows to promote it. The sole band on the lineup at Inner Western, they’ll be bringing their fine honky tonk, alt-country and barroom boogie to some classic country songs. Think The Band, The Rolling Stones and Dylan holding the corner of a dusty juke joint.

Dillard & Clark – So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad), a 1960 single by The Everly Brothers, written by Don Everly.

“I’ve picked Dillard & Clark’s cover of the Everly Brothers’ So Sad from the utterly ace Through the Morning, Through the Night album. Gene Clark and the Everlys are key heroes to The Ramalamas and this song, particularly this version, hits me where it hurts. I think the proto-country-rock Dillard and Clark recording has a touch more magic and a better feel than the Everlys original. I love the production (‘let’s put the drums over there’), dig the instrumentation, and am in awe of Gene’s voice, which sounds like what you’d get if you taught an ancient oak to sing. It’s a beautifully straightforward song. It makes its point – watching love fade sucks – and gets you to feel a bit of that as it crushes your heart, but sweetly.”

“It’s an oft-covered song. I like Emmylou Harris’s version. I love John Prine and Connie Smith’s. And we used to do it in The Ramalamas, more from the Dillard & Clark template than the Everlys’. I shoehorned it into our set when I was reeling from a breakup, thinking it might help. It didn’t, but at least we were able to sing it like we meant it. We didn’t do it for long. Maybe it’s because I got over the sad. Or maybe the band were sad because I was making a terrible job of the tune. Anyway, cool song.”

 

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