Lollapalooza UPDATE: The below poster is indeed the real lineup for…
- Posted on Oct 12th 2012 3:05PM by Lonny Knapp
Band of Horses Facebook
With rusty revolvers and steer horns mounted to the barn-board walls, a parlour piano set up on the small stage strung with Christmas lights, and bar stools fashioned from salvaged wood barrels, the country-themed tavern seems the perfect place for a couple of denim-clad members of a Southern Carolina-based roots rock band to drink away a post-gig hangover.
It's all the more fitting considering the six-steps-of-Kevin-Bacon-style association Band of Horses have with the basement watering hole.
You see, hard-working Toronto band The Beauties host a long-running Sunday night residency at The Dakota Tavern, and the band's Shawn Creamer is a part owner. In 2009, The Beauties backed Juno Award-winning singer Serena Ryder on an emotive cover of Band of Horses' "The Funeral."
Bridwell, the band's singer, wasn't aware of the connection, but was familiar with the cover.
"I love that take," he tells Spinner. "She took such a simple song and turned it into something so incredibly pretty."
Maybe it's the simple chord progression, or the haunting melody, but "The Funeral" is ripe for interpretation.
Search for covers of the song on in YouTube and you'll unearth hundreds of renditions ranging from truly awful amateur takes, to an odd "We are the World"-style treatment from a bunch of Danish rock stars.
"The Funeral" isn't the only Band of Horses track other artists have taken a crack at.
Stockholm's Shout Out Louds put a spacey Swedish language spin on the band's "Is There a Ghost?," Scottish singer Amber Wilson gave the girl-and-a -guitar treatment to the oddly named "Detlef Schrempf," and former Goodie Mob member and Gnarls Barkley crooner Cee Lo Green dropped a soulful rendition of "No Ones Gonna Love You."
Ben Bridwell takes it as a huge compliment when people cover his songs.
"Whether it's a three-year old kid, or an established artist, I think it is so flattering and humbling that we've struck a chord with someone enough that they want to learn whatever three chords I put into those songs," he says.
Of course, Band of Horses borrows from other artists, as well. Live, the band showcase a diverse influences covering the likes of Hall and Oates and The Replacements, and the band has recorded and released covers of Grizzly Bear's "Plans," and a tit-for-tat rendition of Cee Lo Green's "Georgia."
Reynolds, the band's bassist, says that learning and performing cover songs allows him inside the mind of his favorite songwriters.
"I love doing cover songs because it lets you peek under the hood and discover how a really good song is written. If you learn a song you love, you can discover why the changes affect you," he says.
Rarely, a cover is so good that it outshines the original, though there are exceptions..
Like Manfred Mann's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light," and Janis Joplin's imagining of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee," Cee Lo Green's take on Band of Horses' "No One's Gonna Love You" is arguably the better version.
In fact, Green's version is so damn catchy that when his band performs the track live Bridwell finds himself aping the soul singer's delivery.
"I think about the way he sang it, and I can't remember how I did," he says. "I haven't listened to our version in years, but I listen to his every now and again and it blows my mind."