Five Great Musical Duos-In-Waiting
"Weird combo," I thought, took my coffee and went on with my day.
Then, maybe a week later, Phil Everly passed away and the bossman wrote a damn fine bit about him and his brother, Don, best known to music fans as The Everly Brothers. There was the CD cover again in the piece and that's how I learned these two teamed up to cover the Everlys' Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, with the loving title Foreverly.
I've been listening to the CD a lot since then; it's really good stuff. It's not that strange a pairing, either, if you consider Billie Joe Armstrong has toned it down to Jones' pace on work like "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and "Wake Me When September Ends."
I love the songs, but I may be even more enchanted by the format. Take two seemingly dissimilar artists and assign them a rock hall of fame act. They don't do the greatest hits thing, but get one album to remake and reintroduce to new fans. I dig it.
Putting on my producer's hat, here are my five choices for the next Foreverly.
Shakira and Trampled by Turtles
Fleetwood Mac, Fleetwood Mac
Before they were rock legends, the founding members of present-day Fleetwood Mac performed with John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, so roots-rockers Trampled by Turtles isn't that far a stretch. The track I'd really love to hear them take on from the album is "Landslide"; Dave Simonett would kill, singing lyrics not too distant from the TBT norm.
Among the pantheon of women singers who sound goat-like, it's Stevie Nicks at No. 1 and Shakira a close second. So you are practically getting Nicks, only with a bitchin' accent. As a bonus, we'd get her alternating Nicks' twirls with her own sexy belly-dancing gyrations in the "Rhiannon" video.
K. Michelle and Ray LaMontagne
The Poet, Bobby Womack
That soulful gruffness LaMontagne possesses in his wonderful voice would lend itself well to any of Womack's songs. I'd love to hear him take "If You Think You're Lonely Now" down a notch to make its hurtful words more intentional.
K. Michelle could pour a little "VSOP" on tracks like "Lay Your Lovin' On Me" and "Games." The album ends with both swapping lines on the perfect duet tune, "Where Do We Go From Here."
Samanta Crain and Arctic Monkeys
Give the People What They Want, The Kinks
Mixing two now-passe phrases, if you ain't up on Samantha Crain, bad on you. She's a country-folkie from Shawnee, Okla., whose elegant and reflective songs can be enjoyed on her recent effort Kid Face. She'd handle the slower stuff, like "Yo-Yo," on this 1981 album. She'd turn in an extra-creepy femme version of "Art Lover."
Arctic Monkeys have closer ties to the Davies brothers, actually being from the UK and patterning their sound from 1960s Brit-rockers. Front man Alex Turner has listed Face to Face as an essential album to the Monkeys' foundation. Just play-producing this got me excited enough to Google "Arctic Monkeys + The Kinks + 'Destroyer'" because I'd really love to hear that. Sorry to report I got no hits...yet.
List continues on the next page.