Mother should I build a wall?

So Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) covers Pink Floyd/Roger Waters’s “Mother” from “The Wall” on her new album.

I’m generally of the opinion that covers don’t live up to the original per se. (The exception that proves this rule is Manfred Mann’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Quinn, The Eskimo.” Call me a heretic if you like, but I’ve never cared for Dylan’s original.)

Her version is really quite good. She captures the emotional pain and psychic thinness of the Waters piece without succombing to mimicry. Even if country isn’t your thing, at least check out track #2.

If you do pick it up (okay, I know it is download, but I’m old enough to remember buying records and cassette tapes) you’ll also be treated to covers of Eddie Vedder’s “Without You,” Dan Wilson’s “Free Life,” Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over,” and The Jayhawks’s “I’d Run Away.” That being said, unless you’re into the deep tracks of those artists, you probably haven’t heard the originals, which makes this album all the better. Like Manfred Mann, Maines takes these songs and make them her own.

Speaking of Bob Dylan, there’s a couple of scenes in Paul McAuley’s Cowboy Angels — and I don’t think I’m giving anything away by writing this — where the characters are travelling across a parallel Earth and listening to tapes of Bob Dylan the gospel singer (the title itself is a Dylan reference). I’d love to hear that.

And this rambling post is a taste of the things that want out of my head. I’m pretty sure it gets better from here on in.

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