I have written about Hot Koko, the musical duo that Jude and I formed when we were in our late 40’s…
HERE, HERE and HERE.
Now that we are in our early 50’s, music and our enjoyment of being new and highly amateur musicians is really coming into its own. This summer we released our second CD. This one is called “Wayfaring.” I’ve been meaning to post the songs on the blog but it took me a while to find a file converter to squeeze them down to a small enough size to upload to WordPress. I’ve got the converter so now I will be running a series on the songs and what they mean to us.
This week’s tune is a cover of the Black Keys’ “Things Ain’t Like they Used to Be.”
First, did you ever wonder why songs that are recorded by an artist other than the original performer are called “covers?” Wonder no more…
From the wiki:
The term “cover” goes back decades when cover version originally described a rival version of a tune recorded to compete with the recently released (original) version. The Chicago Tribune described the term in 1952 this way: “trade jargon meaning to record a tune that looks like a potential hit on someone else’s label.” Examples of records being covered include Paul Williams‘ 1949 hit tune “The Hucklebuck” and Hank Williams‘ 1952 song “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).” Both crossed over to the popular Hit Parade and had numerous hit versions. Prior to the mid-20th century the notion of an original version of a popular tune would, of course, have seemed slightly odd — the production of musical entertainment being seen essentially as a live event, even if one that was reproduced at home via a copy of the sheet music, learned by heart, or captured on a shellac recording disc.
In previous generations, some artists made very successful careers out of presenting revivals or reworkings of once popular tunes, even out of doing contemporary cover versions of current hits. Musicians now play what they call “cover versions” (e.g. the reworking, updating or interpretation) of songs as a tribute to the original performer or group. Using familiar material (e.g. evergreen hits, standard tunes or classic recordings) is an important method in learning various styles of music. Most albums, or long playing records, up until the mid-1960s usually contained a large number of evergreens or standards to present a fuller range of the artist’s abilities and style. (See, for example, Please Please Me) Artists might also perform interpretations (“covers”) of a favorite artist’s hit tunes for the simple pleasure of playing a familiar song or collection of tunes. A cover band plays such “cover versions” exclusively.
Are you wondering just who the “Black Keys” might be?
From the Wiki:
The Black Keys are Dan Auerbach (guitar and lead vocals) and Patrick Carney (drummer). According to an interview on NPR‘s Fresh Airthe name came from a schizophrenic artist named Alfred McMoore that the pair knew; he would leave incoherent messages on their answering machines referring to their fathers as “black keys” such as “D flat” when he was upset with them.
The band released their debut album, The Big Come Up, in early 2002. The album was very successful for a new independent rock band. Along with their second album, it was recorded entirely in drummer Patrick Carney’s basement on an 8-track tape recorder from the early 1980s. The album spawned two singles released as an EP, “Leavin’ Trunk” and “She Said, She Said“. Both are cover songs; “Leavin’ Trunk” is a traditional blues standard and “She Said, She Said” is originally by The Beatles. “I’ll Be Your Man” would later be used as the theme for the HBO series Hung. “Breaks” was featured in the 2008 film RocknRolla‘
We loved the song and decided to cover it…
Hot Koko’s version of Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be