Remember back last year when the Oak Ridge Boys covered the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army"? Or, just recently, when singer-songwriter Butch Walker put his spin on Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me"? Here's a new one for the "having fun with country covers" files.the Morning Pages, a six-piece roots-rock band with a penchant for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Gram Parsons. And they are putting an alt-country spin--complete with slide gee-tar and lots of twang--on Lady Gaga's "Telephone."
Does it work? It sure does--the dancefloor hit is oddly infectious in country form. The Morning Pages spin the rhythm of the tune into a galloping, rodeo-like beat which may actually be catchier than the original version. In fact, the spirit of this cover reminds me of Jack Ingram's take on Hinder's "Lips Of An Angel," which in my opinion sounded far sweeter and more realized coming from a country rather than rock standpoint.
The Morning Pages' lead singer, Grant Maxwell, agrees. "A great song is a great song," he notes, explaining that he couldn't get Gaga's song out of his head. "Indie music doesn't have to be all dissonant and obscure and depressing all the time--and on the other hand, pop music could stand to sound a lot more organic and musical."
The only thing you might miss in the Morning Pages' version of "Telephone" is, well, the pleasant vision of a hot blonde prancing around in bra and thong undies. Oh, yeah--and Beyonce, of course. But check it out anyway. I think you'll enjoy it. It's one Monster of a cover.
Let me know what you think--and also, if you dig it, you can download the MP3 of the Morning Pages' cover here.
As always, be sure to:
- Butch Walker