This is more like it. I might have been a little tired, and perhaps a little cranky, when I spit venom over Herbie Hancock and Dave Matthews’ take on a Beatles classic. My day – musically, at least – got far better when I spun tracks from Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, a collection of tunes by one of America’s best singer-songwriters interpreted by the likes of Bon Iver, Old Crow Medicine Show and Sara Watkins.
I particularly enjoyed the Drive-By Truckers bash-n-boogie through “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin,” showcasing perhaps the tightest-sounding Truckers heard yet, and Jim James sounds an awful lot like Nashville Skyline-era Dylan on My Morning Jacket’s take on “All the Best,” a return to their original country leanings.
Despite the fact that I can’t get into most of their recorded work, the Avett Brothers’ down-home “Spanish Pipedream” is terrific, as is Old Crow Medicine Show’s faithful interpretation of [my favorite Prine track] “Angel from Montgomery.” Gently swaying along like a hammock on a cool afternoon, Sara Watkins’ sparse cover of “The Late John Garfield Blues” is filled with gorgeous harmonies, National steel guitar and fiddle.
Come June 22, I’m much more apt to pick this up than the Hancock disc. Give it a spin over at NPR Music.