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COUNTRY COVERS #6 – Emma Swift 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.

Emma Swift is back in town again after another stint living in Nashville where she has been recording  her EP that’s due for release in 2014, hosting live Q+A sessions with Paul Kelly and playing a ton of gigs in the beer and whisky stained bars and clubs of the country music capital. Possessing a heartbreaking country voice, Emma can make any song hers and as well as being a masterful interpreter she is fast becoming a great songwriter in her own right.

Cat Power – Silver Stallions, popularised by The Highwaymen, written by Lee Clayton (1978)

“There are plenty of outstanding country covers I could write about but today I’m in the mood for Cat Power’s version of Silver Stallion. This song was originally recorded a band I commonly refer to as ‘The Hottest Band Of All Time’ – The Highwaymen. Country music’s answer to The Traveling Wilburys, The Highwaymen brought Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings together on stage and in the studio. Sometimes when I’m lucky they appear like this in my dreams too. Yes, I dream in country.”

Silver Stallion suits Cat Power perfectly. It came out in 2008 on gorgeous collection of songs called Jukebox. That album is also home to her tribute to Bob Dylan Song to Bobby, which I’d go as far to say is one of the greatest musical love letters I’ve ever heard. I’ve always loved her voice – it’s sensual and sexual and vulnerable and made for singing a phrase like:

“Just a touch of sadness in his fingers/ Thunder and lightning in his thighs”

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