Sunday Morning Coming Down

More death this morning, I’m afraid.

This one I was alerted to by way of a comment from Charity Chic last weekend: at the age of 84, Don Everly has gone off to resume hostilities with his brother Phil in that great argument in the sky.

The Everly Brothers are one of those acts that it’s easy to dismiss, because of their ubiquitousness – they’ve just always been there, even if they weren’t speaking to each other for most of the time (a template followed many years later by the Gallagher siblings).

You hear many bands mention how important The Everly Brothers were, how they influenced them, and yet they have never really seemed to have been given their dues in the wider circle.

Over the years, I’ve seen many a country artist site them as an influence, but I’ve never really understood that connection: to me they bridged the gap between skiffle and early rock’n’roll, and if I had to pin my colours to the mast then I’d describe them as an early rock’n’roll duo.

But then, a few years ago, I heard the Foreverly album by the somewhat unlikely duo of Norah Jones and Green Day’s Billie Jo Armstrong and then it suddenly clicked:

Billie Joe Armstrong + Norah Jones – Silver Haired Daddy of Mine

Strong recommends for that album, by the way.

Here’s my favourite song by The Everly Brothers, a record my parents owned on 7″ single, and if ever you needed an example of how sibling vocals work so well together, then this is it:

The Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown

RIP Don.

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Mention The Everly Brothers to most people, they probably would associate them with some cracking early rock’n’roll singles and a lot of sibling rivalry; they wouldn’t readily associate them with country records.

But for me, many of those old classics have a country feel to them, and it seems I’m not alone in thinking that, for in 2013 Foreverly, an album of covers of Everly Brothers songs was released by, surprisingly, Billie Joe Armstrong (of political punksters Green Day), and, less surprisingly, the consistently wonderful Norah Jones.

The result is pretty great; Jones is an old-hand at this sort of thing, having dipped into Country often before with (I swear I’m not making these up for cheap laughs) her Puss n Boots and The Little Willies projects, so it’s Armstrong who causes the most eyebrows to be raised, putting in a vocal performance which is just far enough away from being an impression as to impress.

Judge for yourself:


Billie Joe + Norah – Silver Haired Daddy of Mine

More soon.