Most cover albums I can do without. Too straight forward. If you aren’t bringing anything new to the table *cough* like these recent Johnny Cash tributes *cough*, why bother? Not the case with Zoe Muth and the High Rollers’ new EP, “Old Gold”.
This 6-song set features 5 covers and 1 original. There’s a lot to like about the band’s laid back sound here. It’s uncomplicated - just a singer and her favorite songs. I’ve compiled the originals with Muth’s covers in this playlist.
When you get past the obscurity factor — let’s face it, Charlie Feathers, Dock Boggs and the McGarrigle Sisters aren’t exactly household names — you appreciate how she makes these her own. If we weren’t told these were covers, it’s not something we’d like find out on our own. They sound like songs you’d hear the band play in any set. Not that I’ve seen them play, but I’ve got an active imagination. None of the music feels out of time or out of place; especially given that the newest song, aside from the lone original, is John Prine’s Maureen, Maureen and that dates back to 1984.
Consider this an Unplugged effort - the sound’s little less honky-tonk and a little more coffee shop, but it still stands out as a fine country album. Muth’s voice has just the right amount of twang that keeps you coming back for more.
I need an album rating system, but in the mean time I call this an excellent effort: 87/100.
Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers Old Gold is available for $5.94 at amazon and iTunes.