A quadruple header for you this morning.
A year or so ago, I went to see Evan Dando, he of Lemonheads fame, play at Union Chapel in Islington, probably one of my favourite venues, and which I mentioned in my recent post about Supergrass and Billy Bragg.
Dando’s set comprised of the usual mix of Lemonheads classics, stuff from his solo album, and a whole load of covers of Country songs, which I decided to track down.
This was one of them:
John Prine – Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness
I came away from the gig with a strange feeling relating to that song. I didn’t think I’d heard it before, and didn’t think I knew anything else by Prine, yet there was something familiar about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
A little internet research told me that Nanci Griffith had done quite a famous cover of it:
Nanci Griffith – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Nope, that wasn’t it.
A sweep of YouTube revealed an awful lot of people had recorded cover versions of varying quality. Pick of the bunch is this, not because it’s a particularly good version (it really isn’t), but because of the performer’s decision to apparently perform it minus clothes:
He’s really feeling it by the end of that, isn’t he? The song, I mean.
Just be grateful he doesn’t take a bow at the end.
Once the general sense of nausea had passed, a little more digging found this cover version, by a band most famous for providing the theme tune to The Sopranos, and a band my brother is always banging on about how great they are. Warning, they’ve authenticated their Brixton roots by adding a bit of effing and jeffing:
Alabama 3 – Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Nope, not that either. Although, that would seem to be an example of Country trip hop, not a genre I even knew existed. Maybe I should pay attention to my brother a bit more often.
Anyway, eventually I gave up trying to work out what was bugging me about the song. I concluded I’d definitely not heard it before, and was pretty sure I didn’t know anything else by John Prine. I figured it was just one of those songs that seems familiar the first time you hear it, even though you’ve never heard it before.
And then, a few months later, I had a Eureka! moment, when this came on my iPod:
Kris Kristofferson – Jesus Was a Capricorn (Owed to John Prine)
And there it was: KK had been subtly trying to nudge me in the direction of Prine for years, and I hadn’t picked up on it.
By the way, when I say KK, I mean Kris Kristofferson, of course, and not former footballing journeyman and BBC pundit Kevin Kilbane.