Written by Chad Taylor
Well, we've now reached, more or less, the halfway point of our first installment of Completely Covered. It was nearly two months ago now that we approached 10 local acts and asked them to stretch themselves creatively and personally, and try covering the same song.
Our song of choice, Kanye West's "Gold Digger", was not the most popular of choices. Kanye isn't the most popular of artists among the bands we tapped, and "Gold Digger" is far from his best song, so covering it—and making it into something entertaining—required a little more effort on the part our bands. Not everybody was up to it, and three of our bands dropped out, with varying degrees of grace.
But the seven bands who DID complete the challenge have turned in amazing results. Next week we'll resume the list and commence showing you the final three band submissions. But this week, we thought we'd take a look back at the ones we've already released, in case you missed them, or just wanted to hear them again. In addition to the tracks, all of the band interviews are linked below, so don't forget to check out everyone's thoughts on going through the process.
We started the series off with Ira Grace & The Bible Belt Prophets, whose acoustic cover features the light harmonies that have become the band's hallmark, as well as some clever lyrical additions, courtesy of Marc Bailey.
For Episode 2, we turned to Patresa Hartman. Patresa hated the experience, but her sultry, piano driven cover took a ridiculous, vulgar song and made it sound much sexier than it has any right to.
Episode 3 came from the newest band of the bunch, The Other Brothers. A rock three-piece with heavy blues influences, Los Otros Hermanos stripped the song down to the bare walls and turned it into a dirty, bluesy, three-chord beauty.
Bryon Dudley, the musical mastermind behind Nova Labs and our Completely Covered partner, without whom none of this would have happened, got in on the action for Episode 4. Strong Like Bear turned in a cover that featured some of the most wholesale changes of the whole series. The prog act completely gutted the original in favor of a James Bond-inspired track that told a much different story within the confines of the original song structure.
And that's where we find ourselves as we turn the corner and head into the home stretch. Completely Covered has been an amazing experience to watch unfold, and we can't think the bands who participated enough for their willingness to be good sports, have a little fun, and maybe reach outside their comfort zones a bit. Be sure to listen to the tracks, read the interviews, check out the bands, and look back here in the coming weeks to see who the final three bands are.