This past weekend, Big City Country, which is one of BMF’s touring bands, played an acoustic gig at Greenlight bookstore. No mics, no amps, just unplugged instruments and gorgeous three part harmonies. It was truly special in that it was music in the purest form coming from the purest of hearts. In the spirit of that performance, I have compiled a list of some great acoustic covers – check ‘em out!
1. Hurt, Johnny Cash
Originally by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the Johnny Cash version is a heartbreakingly honest and beautiful portrayal of that song. Pair it with the stunning music video which is a retrospective of Johnny Cash’s amazing life, and you’ve got true magic.
2. Wonderwall, Cat Power
Listen to the Oasis version and you’ve got a poppy sing along. Listen to the Cat Power version and you’ve got a gorgeous and heartfelt ballad. The wrath of Noel Gallagher is strong, but since the chances of him seeing this are slim to none, I’m going to venture to say that Cat Power’s version is better.
3. Crazy – Ray LaMontagne
Gnarls Barkley’s hit is soulful, dancy and fantastic. It’s the kind of song you can’t believe ever made it to top 40 radio. Ray LaMontagne’s version is the soul without the dance, and it is the kind of song you wish would make it to the radio. Check out his ridiculously awesome vocals here:
4. Everlong – Foo Fighters
Everlong is a great song no matter what, but Dave Grohl’s acoustic version of his own band’s track, reveals why this song is so good. At the bare bones – just acoustic guitar and vocals, this song still stands strong.
5. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
This is a must as one of the most iconic covers of all time. Originally by Leonard Cohen, this song has been done by more artists than I can count, but this version stands at the top by far.
6. Stand By Me – Tracy Chapman
This is a very recent addition to my list. Featured on the David Letterman show, Tracy Chapman performed an unbelievable version of this Ben E. King song. Just a few short weeks following this performance, Ben E. King passed away. What an amazing tribute in his last days.
7. Tender – Blur
Another very recent addition to the list, Blur performed a live acoustic version of their song Tender backstage with Jimmy Fallon. I love this song, and this version is so good.
8. Come As You Are – Nirvana
As a teen in the 90’s I would be remiss if I did not include a song from Nirvana’s 1993 Unplugged. Personally, I enjoy the rawness of the rehearsal footage pre-show. Check out Dave Grohl’s pony tail and Kurt Cobain’s killer vocal here.