Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of November 2022

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In November, a bizarre number of new cover releases saw the light of day, including tributes to Billy Joe Shaver, Pavement and Jack Terricloth by various artists, Seth Avett singing Greg Brown, also William Fitzsimmons doing his whisper rock thing, Phil Wolff honoring Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen interpreting soul music. We listed about 40 covers that would be worth sharing (apart from the countless alternative versions of Christmas classics; if you had to listen to one, choose Drummer Boy by Titus Andronicus adapted from Billy Joel’s Piano Man, or Vista Blue’s We Practiced All Year Long including a cover of a Kmart ad from 1979). Here are the 10 covers – X-mas free – we liked the most.

Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again || Cover: Dune Rats & Friends || Original: The Angels
Now this is fun in every way. For triple j’s Like A Version feature, Australian garage punk trio Dune Rats cover Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, from the self-titled debut LP (1977) by their compatriots The Angels. To add to the party, they are joined by their friends Ruby Fields, Jackson Van Issue (Beddy Rays), Anna Ryan (Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers) and Kelly Jansch (TOTTY), as well as The Angels’ Brewster brothers themselves. Nice to see how they are all enjoying themselves, and so are we. If you want to hear more from this band: their most recent album Real Rare Whale is just as entertaining.

I Won’t Back Down || Cover: J Prozac || Original: Tom Petty
American punk rock singer/guitarist J Prozac released his Won’t Let Go LP this spring with new original songs, which he now follows up with the Behind The Mask compilation (out digitally, self-released), featuring 22 singles and rare cuts. There are covers of songs by Ramones, The Lillingtons, Misfits, The Queers and others, but this one by Tom Petty is probably the biggest hit.

Pink Turns to Blue || Cover: The Nils || Original: Hüsker Dü
Canadian punk rock outfit The Nils already made their debut in the 80s, yet so many years later their new EP Five Roses (out digitally and on vinyl, self-released) sounds quite urgent. In addition to four original songs, Carlos Soria (bass, vocals), Mark Donato (guitar, vocals), Phil Psarakos (guitar, vocals) and Emilien Catalano (drums) cover one of Hüsker Dü’s most popular tunes.

Que Corra La Nicotina || Cover: Kurt Baker || Original: Siniestro Total
Family Spree Recordings has taken the trouble to pay a large-scale tribute to Siniestro Total, the Spanish band that started with punk rock in 1981, but gradually embraced totally different influences as well. What was initially a radio show is now also available on the 2LP S​ó​tano Total: Un homenaje a Siniestro Total desde El S​ó​tano de Radio 3, a compilation with covers from 24 different artists including Los Bengala, The Limboos, Guadalupe Plata, Los Chicos and even power pop hero Kurt Baker. This is not only a great collection in itself, but also a good starting point to dive into the originals.

I’m So Glad || Cover: Dany Laj and The Looks || Original: Skip James
Partners in musical crime Dany Laj (guitar, vocals) and Jeanette Dowling (bass, vocals, percussion), here together with Anna Mernieks-Duffield (guitar, vocals) and Mike Mernieks-Duffield (drums), make a cool contribution to the I-94 Recordings Detroit cover “B” side series. It’s one that can’t really be pigeonholed, because the two songs here are kind of a melting pot of rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop, folk, power pop and R&B, but somehow it works very well. A-side You Should Know is an original hit, B-side So Glad was originally released by Skip James in 1931 (the Delta blues musician was not from Detroit, but The Scot Richard Case had a regional hit with this song in their hometown of Detroit in 1967 – this cover version is more akin to the latter).

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere || Cover: Jeff Rosenstock & Laura Stevenson || Original: Neil Young
Singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson and punk musician Jeff Rosenstock have been friends since they were teenagers. They agreed to do a few EPs of Neil Young covers as an excuse to have fun making music together. After the successful first 4 covers on the Still Young EP in 2019 (including Harvest Moon and After The Gold Rush), they are back with 4 new ones onYounger Still (including Comes a Time and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere; out digitally via Polyvinyl Record Co.).

Bang Bang || Cover: Bang Bang Band Girl || Original: Cher
On the first day of the coming year, Bang Bang Band Girl will release 12 Super Duper Extraordinary Girl Trouble Rock​’​n​’​Roll Tracks (digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Voodoo Rhythm Records). We’re talking about one lady rock’n’roll orchestra Sheri Corleone, who covered The Cramps, Motörhead, The Drifters and others, recorded in Peru and the Netherlands. Signature song Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) is already available – it was a 1966 single by singer-actress Cher (written by her husband Sonny Bono), quickly surpassed by Nancy Sinatra, but never sounded as dangerous as this one.

Into My Arms || Cover: Lulu and the Broadsides || Original: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The name Lulu and the Broadsides may not ring a bell, but it’s a New Orleans supergroup featuring admirable singer-songwriter Dayna Kurtz, James Singleton (bass), Carlo Nuccio (drums), Glenn Hartman (keys) and Robert Maché (guitar). The band plays vintage rhythm and blues, danceable and melancholic, with Kurtz’s distinctive and passionate vocals in the foreground. Their new, self-titled album (out via Continental Record Services) is a combination of their own songs and barely recognizable covers, such as Magical Spell (Masters Of Reality) and I Need Somebody (The Stooges). The LP closes with a beautiful version of Nick Cave’s Into My Arms. Goosebumps.

Cramp Your Style || Cover: Night Owls featuring N’Dea Davenport || Original: All The People featuring Robert Moore
Previous singles with soul covers by Night Owls were collected earlier this year on the album Versions, in my opinion the best cover album of 2022. Blake Colie (drums), Dave Wilder (bass), Roger Rivas (organ, piano) and Dan Ubick (guitars, percussion) continue their success formula with a new 45 (out on F-Spot Records) from a fresh string of recording sessions. Side A, a relaxed interpretation of oft-sampled Cramp Your Style, with N’Dea Davenport (Brand New Heavies) on vocals, stands out.

This Will Be Our Year || Cover: The Teskey Brothers || Original: The Zombies
The Zombies’ 1968 Odessey and Oracle is widely regarded as one of the psych-pop highlights of the late 1960s. Australian blues rock band The Teskey Brothers dare to put their own spin on one of the album’s standout songs, translating This Will Be Our Year in an intense soul tune.

Check out our Dusted playlist on Spotify for more cool cover songs.

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