However, covering originals isn’t easy. It is actually more challenging than writing a song from scratch. Why do you ask? For starters, the cover song needs to be accepted as better than the original. Secondly, figuring out what actually makes it better is the hard part.
In this blog post, I discuss some of my favorite covers I have done in the past few months and why they are special:
Blind Willie McTell
Originally written by Bob Dylan, this song has always been close to my heart. I wanted to do something special for the opening of the Civil Rights Museum in Washington DC and this song was the first to come to my mind.
It highlights the history of American music and slavery. I covered in more of a narrative style to make it more of a tribute.
Check it out and get a feel of how I used a banjo, guitar, haunting organ and a piano to turn this masterpiece around.
Ghost Riders In The Sky (Redeaux)
It was originally written by Stan Jones in 1948. I decided to cover it into an instrumental version with the help of my friend Vince Lauria. Why an instrumental? It’s something different and there is something special about bringing out those vibes from an original without actually singing.
After days of brainstorming and a bit of tweaking here and there, I released the Ghost Riders in the Sky (Redeaux) version.
My Father’s Son
Ever heard a song that takes you back in time and you actually need to pinch yourself to come back? This is the one for me. As a father myself, I was instantly mesmerized by the song’s precision at highlighting father-son relationships. Once I had all the permissions, I proceeded to put my own spin to this song and gained positive feedback from my fans. Check it out here.
If you are new to the music scene or are learning to play an instrument for the first time, in hopes of one day being able to cover your favorite songs, remember—always be original. Add something that truly helps listeners set apart your covers from the originals.