The Cleverlys
February 20, 2011 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Bluegrass covers of popular songs, by The Cleverlys: The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian, Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Shaggy's Angel, The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fergie's Clumsy, Stevie Wonder's Superstition, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl
posted by finite (32 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine shared a bunch of these with me a couple of weeks ago. I love the idea, but am not overwhelmed with the execution.

Still, it's great fun.
posted by hippybear at 12:33 PM on February 20, 2011

Ok so Clumsy is the tune from Talkin' Bout Hey Love but is it from somewhere else originally?
posted by Ad hominem at 12:40 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

People who do like this kind of thing (and who wouldn't?), might want to check out Luther Wright & The Wrongs' reimagining of Pink Floyd. A few samples:

Another Brick In The Wall Part 1
Comfortably Numb
Thin Ice
Hey You

Yes, they do the entire album. It's pretty brilliant.
posted by hippybear at 12:43 PM on February 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

I like the blue grass cover of Gin and Juice by the Gourds.

And Strummin' With The Devil is a great Van Halen blue grass tribute album.
posted by Flood at 12:45 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

All the Single Ladies is just brilliant. Gonna be hummin' and tappin' that one all day (tmw), thanks.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:58 PM on February 20, 2011

My first exposure to non-trad bluegrass covers was the Austin Lounge Lizards' cover of "Brain Damage" from Dark Side of the Moon.

And then there is "Men in Black" medley by the Bad Livers - "Jail Bait" and "Ring of Fire".

Nobody's posted their cover of "Fire" by James Hendrix and Those Experienced Mountain Boys or "Lust for Life" online - I'll have to work on that.....
posted by pdxjmorris at 1:01 PM on February 20, 2011

Oh, and yes, the Gin and Juice cover is great!

I was at my friend's birthday party two weekends ago...she's Polish, all her guests were Arab, South American, and lots of other countries; point being, I was practically the only native-English speaker (and American...this is in the UK). We were all taking turns blasting songs off the laptop. Most the guests didn't know a lot of American music, less so for the covers. So naturally I played Gin and Juice by the Gourds followed by our very own Juicy Karkass with Punch 'em in the Dick. Total hit!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:06 PM on February 20, 2011

Rumke Mountain Boys also do Floyd covers.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:07 PM on February 20, 2011

GAH! I *always* do that, wtf is wrong with me? It's like I think 'country' is the catch-all term for however I want to lump humans together.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:07 PM on February 20, 2011

I can't find a proper link, but The Meat Purveyors' cover of ABBA's "S.O.S." is a truly spectacular bluegrass rendering of an already spectacular pop song.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 1:09 PM on February 20, 2011

Iron Horse does nothing but bluegrass covers of various things, including entire albums of Metallica and Goo Goo Dolls. One of my favorites.
posted by contrarian at 1:14 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Rodeohead's pretty nice too.
posted by kenko at 1:58 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Cleverlys are my new favorite band. Thanks Metafilter!
posted by Drab_Parts at 2:06 PM on February 20, 2011

Welcome to my world in Branson, Missouri. The Cleverlys are a fun group, and I've worked with the drummer on a few projects. This is one of the acts in town I hopefully will get to do a music video for in the near future.
posted by shinynewnick at 2:25 PM on February 20, 2011

Run C&W
posted by Jode at 2:25 PM on February 20, 2011

I would like to see Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Martin, and David Hyde Pierce singing "I kissed a girl (and I liked it)". That is all.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:26 PM on February 20, 2011

You can have all the fiddles, banjos and high lonesome singin' in the world, but it's not Bluegrass if it has drums.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 2:27 PM on February 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am absolutely amazed how perfectly single ladies translates into a bluegrass song.
posted by whm at 2:31 PM on February 20, 2011

Made my morning, thanks. And even if this is a pisstake of sorts it occurs to me that anyone can pick up a guitar and call themselves a rock musician or whatever but if you want to call yourself a bluegrass player you gotta have real talent and know your roots and the riffs backwards.

I love Bluegrass, much to the horror of my girlfriend, friends, etc. Love the mad pickin' skillz, love the harmonies.

Also, from their about page "Digger [was] exposed to a lot as a young boy, even more when he became the flute tech for Jethro Tull."

posted by bdave at 3:09 PM on February 20, 2011

I also thought the Single Ladies cover was pretty amazing.
posted by Hop123 at 4:14 PM on February 20, 2011

I really wish I could find their music to download for my ipod. I love them!
posted by Draccy at 4:14 PM on February 20, 2011

I really loving some of these tracks and I'm from the UK (so no one understands my love of country, let alone bluegrass). While we're all adding bluegrass covers may I suggest the Cracker and Leftover Salmon collaboration O' Cracker Where Art Thou? Featuring tracks such as Get Off This, Teen Angst and lots of other great stuff not available on youtube.
posted by 40glocc at 4:24 PM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian

I recently rewatched the original video to see how I felt about it. Not as a catchy 80s hit populated by a better-than-cheesecake hair band -- on that score it's fine and obviously still retains its appeal. No, as a song that is -- at best -- culturally insensitive. The Cleopatra outfits and inclusion of a political enemy of Egypt (Muammar Gaddafi) don't exactly help. It's a bit like Chief Illiniwek. I came away with much ambivalence.

Anyway, seeing it performed by some -- I'm sure they're nice folks -- hicks doesn't exactly help me like the song any better.
posted by dhartung at 5:54 PM on February 20, 2011

Well-shot videos of talented people having fun. If only the rest of the Internet were this way.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:34 PM on February 20, 2011

I went and saw them last week at ground zero for bluegrass, the Station Inn in Nashville. The blew my doors off.The concept is extremely well thought out, and their characterizations are impeccable. The back story that slowly comes out between songs is the finishing touch, and they never break character. I asked "Digger" after the show if his inspiration came from the Darlings, and he repled "no, more like Spinal Tap" FWIW.
posted by jlitchford at 6:54 PM on February 20, 2011

I didn't have the time earlier to say a little more about Run C&W aka The Burns Brothers who were doing bluegrass covers 15 years ago. I was knocked out when I heard their take on classic soul and R&B tunes. The Cleverlys are pretty good and they have the advantage of being extant, but Run C&W were killer. You can see from their Wikipedia entry who is in the band. (Russell Smith wrote the delicious song Third Rate Romance.) I urge y'all to check out their version of Superstition (linked above) and for your further delectation, here are My Girl and Hold On I'm Coming.
posted by Jode at 7:39 PM on February 20, 2011

Why must every cover of "Put a Ring On It" eliminate the most interesting aspects of the song? The rhythm and the instrumental melody of that song are doing all sorts of things that nobody ever duplicates. It's practically an industrial track.
posted by idiopath at 8:07 PM on February 20, 2011

I also saw them at Station Inn last week. They are great guys who love to entertain.
posted by SarahElizaP at 11:19 PM on February 20, 2011

Thank you so much for a great post, you made my day. Just clicking through the 'suggestions' in YouTube has opened up a whole new genre of cover music I was completely unaware of. I wonder if they do any Fever Ray covers. Hmm...
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 5:23 AM on February 21, 2011

I gotta feeling...that their version is a major improvement to this song.
posted by unintelligentlydesigned at 7:26 AM on February 21, 2011

We had a bluegrass band play at our wedding. At one point they break into Sweet Child of Mine. I'll never forget the look of confusion on one guests face as she turned to me and asked, "Is that Guns and Roses?" :D
posted by calamari kid at 9:47 AM on February 21, 2011

They uploaded a new video today: Lizard Man
posted by finite at 9:14 PM on March 17, 2011

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