Musings on The Everly Brothers, Nina Simone, and Bob Dylan

Hi, friends!

I hope you all are well. I'm back in Des Moines for a few days, just home from my shows out of town. The last two were sold out in Davenport and Appleton (thx Appleton to all 200 people who came, wow). Suffice it to say it was really fun, and nice to know some people like my music haha.

This week over on my Patreon page I've got a classic song for you, "Let It Be Me" by the Everly Brothers. (you can subscribe here for $1/month and get access to over 50 covers I've done of classic singer-songwriters)

I never really gave this song much thought until my good friend and record producer Patrick Tape Fleming pointed out to me how great Bob Dylan's cover is on his album Self Portrait.

In his version, the voice is more isolated (without the iconic harmonies), and his delivery really sells the intent of the words. Sometimes in music, when everything is crystal clear perfect with strings plucking along, you don't hear the emotion within the voice. I think that's why the original presented a barrier to entry for someone like me who wants my music to be very raw and emotional. You go back after realizing how great the song is, though, and then you love the original. Or at least I do! And like 10 million other people haha.

All that being said, Bobby D's version is still very pristine, which brings me to another version that sold me on it further, and that's the one by Nina Simone, which is a live version (from her album of the same name). It does feature the harmonies on and off, backed with piano and bass and light drum accompaniment. Per usual, Nina's interpretation is the most powerful (she is the winner at this always).

So anyway, the song is a good candidate to be stripped down even further (it's all about the desperate lover, making his plea, down on one knee and all that...there's usually not a band behind a man in such situations). So here that is. I particularly like the lonely piano opening. (when it comes to tinkling on the keys, I am forever inspired by Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert)

This one's for Patrick!



P.S. if you are in Iowa in the next two weeks, I am doing my Iowa Music 4x10, which you can attend in studios across the state for free (more info here). 

And if you can't make that, I am playing at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, Iowa on April 28th with Gloom Balloon and Pink Neighbor. Details here. 

double P.S. Patron producers are Richard Ford and Cliff Ford (thx fam!)


photo: sofar sounds washington dc