I have a rule about covers. I only cover a song if it says something in a way that makes it totally unique and unbeatable. There are songs that I would never be able to write – “Say It To Me Now” by Glen Hansard, or Robbie Robertson’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Those are songs, that, god love ’em, I sincerely wish I had the ability to write.
On that note, I think I’m going to try something. Something like single takes of covers that I think are worth playing. Songs that make me want to be a better writer, or a better player. Learn it, sit down with one mic, one track, do it once and post the result to see what happens. The first in this series is below – “Isn’t It a Pity,” by George Harrison.
I like this song for a lot of reasons. Simplicity. Simplicity that on the original track blankets itself in lush, crazy production that somehow only reinforces the simplicity itself. There are only two “verses,” really, and one refrain. The song builds itself entirely around that. I think, at the heart of it, that’s what makes this song a special one for me. I hope you enjoy my take on it – unfortunately, the orchestra wasn’t available and I only had a guitar, but I think I managed pretty well. We shall see, I suppose.