Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Fiddle player Sara Watkins formed the bluegrass band Nickel Creek in 1989 with her older bother Sean and mandolin ace Chris Thile. She was just eight years old. Five albums and thousands of column inches of praise later the trio put the band on indefinite hiatus in 2007.
Her solo album came out last month. Produced by John Paul Jones and featuring guest appearances from Gillian Welch, Tim O'Brien as well as her former bandmates, it's a great mix of original songs and covers. I was naturally delighted to hear that one of those covers was a Tom Waits track.
Pony is a highlight from Tom's 1999 album Mule Variations. It's a sparse and evocative narrative told by a typically down-on-his-luck Waitsian character. It's also probably the only song ever written to name check the town of Hushpuckena, Mississippi.
Compare the two versions and let me know what you think.
MP3: Sara Watkins - Pony
More Sara Watkins: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Tom Waits - Pony
More Tom Waits: official site | Amazon | 7digital
Previous Tom Waits Covers
Solomon Burke - Diamond in Your Mind
Bruce Springsteen - Jersey Girl
Tori Amos & Heidi Talbot - Time