Every band pays tribute to their favourite artists with cover versions but only a few take hero worship to the level of writing new songs about their idols.
These are songs by artists I like about folks they like, plus tracks by the people that inspired them. Tomorrow I'll post some more, all with a Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan connection.
Roadrunner is one of the greatest songs ever written in my opinion and Alan Tyler evidently thinks so too. I love the way The Rockingbirds' track pays tribute to Jonathan Richman lyrically and musically.
I must admit I'd never heard of Dory Previn before buying Camera Obscura's great album Let's Get Out Of This Country. The song's not really about the American songwriter but does contain the lyric, "How I adore you Dory Previn/ I turned you up to 11 for the band’s ears to bleed". The Dory Previn song I've posted is actually another tribute - to Janis Joplin.
Rodney Crowell's tribute to Johnny Cash would be a good song even without the guest vocal from the Man in Black. Asking Cash to sing was a risky move. The track was recorded in 2001, nine years after Crowell was divorced from Johnny Cash's daughter Roseanne, although from what I've read JC seemed to be more annoyed that his ex son-in-law had changed his melody. The version of I Walk the Line is the original Sun single.
Enjoy the songs, let me know what you think, and please suggest any others. Tomorrow there'll be more including Dan Bern, Tom Russell and Bob Dylan.
I'm Your Fan, Part 2