…tastes like pork and beans, SINGLE: RAINBOW GIRLS have “Down Home Girl” covered
Rainbow Girls – Give the People What They Want LP, is available now at Apple Music.
by Walter Price
Northern California’s Rainbow Girls released an album of covers last year, that should be considered a modern folk masterclass. ‘Give the People What They Want’, is chock-full of beautifully personal harmonies, authentic blues and roots licks, and undeniable sincerity. As it pays homage to fan-fave classic songs from Gillian Welch, Pee Wee King, John Prine, and Stephen Stills… to name just a few.
And with all the obvious beauty this trio has offered up in this set, it’s the, perhaps overlooked, natural nuances of the recording of this album that play equal parts in its genius. The air in the room that day, the fingers sliding across strings, the perfect imperfections that sneak in every once in a note to let you know that this isn’t studio trickery. This is real humans baring their hearts and souls in a realtime experience.
And there’s a good chance that this LP’s willingness to let the tracks breathe in their surroundings, will remind you of the indelible raw sounds that forged the paths for future creators. Music by hallowed names like Bessie Smith, Lead Belly and later by the voices of Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez.
And if you want to get a taste of what this collection has to offer, check out the viral sensation that is their version of “Down Home Girl”. The Jerry Leiber and Artie Butler written staple first released by Alvin Robinson and later by The Coasters and more throughout the decades.
Which, in a YouTube description, the cover’s origins and DIY video production are further explained, “This song has been a long time coming for us Rainbows. Originally recorded by Alvin Robinson in 1964 and covered by The Rolling Stones in 1965, “Down Home Girl” first made its way to our awareness via Old Crow Medicine Show’s 2006 version. But every version of this song seems to be prime – it’s just that good.
“We learned the song and made this video in the same afternoon, sitting on our back porch in the countryside north of San Francisco. (Tractor cameo by our dear friend, Steve Shoulders.)”
If you’re a fan of Emmylou Harris, Dixie Chicks, Church Sisters, and/or the Texas K.G.B. (A.k.a. Madam Radar), then this is for you…
Band photo via YouTube
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“One of our cover videos went viral and suddenly we had people from all over the world asking us whether or not we had that song recorded anywhere. Instead of telling them all ‘no,’ we decided to go into the studio to record it and ended up making a whole album… the next day.” – Rainbow Girls