When I saw David Gray last year in Denver, his cover of Tim Buckley’s ethereal “Song To The Siren” hit me in the gut and sliced diagonal across my heart. I have the boot of that show, and I still sometimes can’t listen to that track; there’s a funeral-playable quality to the song itself, and I loved the haunting, circuitous way Gray performed it. He also covered (and endearingly flubbed) Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” at that show as well, so it’s like I got a mini-preview of this concept album back then. I loved his take on both songs.
You can find excellent versions of both those tunes on David Gray’s new self-produced live covers album A Thousand Miles Behind, as well as 11 others from varied original artists — three Dylan, two Springsteen, Will Oldham (devastating), Barry Gibb (surprisingly fantastic), Johnny Cash, and more.
The cover of British songwriter John Martyn’s “Go Down Easy” is emotive and amazing and sounds like something Gray could have penned himself. And wow, I just recognized the Randy Newman cover as being sung by Bette Midler on the Beaches soundtrack, of which I just remembered in a horrifying flashback that I used to own on cassette.
The album is available exclusively through DavidGray.com, as of last week.
While you’re on his site, also take a listen to 1 of the two new original songs from his forthcoming Greatest Hits collection (Nov 13) — “The World To Me” is streaming at the bottom of the main page.
A THOUSAND MILES BEHIND: TRACKLIST
1. Song To The Siren (Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley)
2. To Ramona (Bob Dylan)
3. One With The Birds (Will Oldham)
4. Long Black Veil (Danny Dill, Marijohn Wilkin)
5. One Too Many Mornings (Bob Dylan)
6. I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (Randy Newman)
7. Mansion on the Hill (Bruce Springsteen)
8. In The Morning (Barry Gibb)
9. I Tremble For You (John Cash, Lewis Calvin De Witt, Jr.)
10. Buckets of Rain (Bob Dylan)
11. Go Down Easy (John Martyn)
12. Streets of Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen)
And hey! Why not go see him on tour too?
UPCOMING DAVID GRAY TOUR DATES
Nov 6 – Newcastle Carling Academy
Nov 8 – Glasgow Academy
Nov 9 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Nov 10 – Manchester Apollo
Nov 12 – London Roundhouse
Nov 13 – London Roundhouse
Nov 14 – London Roundhouse
Nov 17 – Dublin National Stadium
Nov 18 – Killarney INEC
Dec 2 – Toronto, ON Massey Hall (On-sale Oct 19)
Dec 4 – New York, NY Beacon Theatre (On-sale Oct 19)
Dec 5 – Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre (On-sale Oct 20)
Dec 7 – Denver, CO Paramount Theatre (On-sale Oct 20)