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It's nice to see an artist cover their friends and peers instead of just their heroes and predecessors. It's a throwback to the early days of rock 'n' roll when everybody covered everybody. Shovels & Rope are masters of the cover, releasing three albums of covers (so far!) As part of Dualtone's twentieth anniversary, they were asked to cover Shakey Graves' "Dearly Departed." The original is a powerful, uplifting anthem, with foot stomping drums and an absolutely scream-along worthy chorus. Shovels & Rope slow the song way, way down and turn it into a quiet ballad. It's an interesting choice, since Shakey Graves' original features Esme Patterson and would have been absolutely perfect as is for the husband/wife duo of Shovels & Rope. But, the best covers are ones where the coverer puts their own spin on the song, and that's ultimately what this one is.
You can listen to Shovels & Rope's version of "Dearly Departed" below. The song will be included on Amerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone which is currently on Spotify with physical copies available for pre-order here. For more on Shovels & Rope, check out the artist's website.
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