Carolina Coverfolk 2013, Volume 1:
Songs of the South, As Place and Metaphor


Apologies for the long gap between posts – with rehearsals for an impending production of The Sound Of Music, long nights interviewing Superintendent candidates for our local school system, and both end-of-term grades and my yearly professional evaluation due in a single week, it was all I could do to keep my head above water.

But through it all, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and this is it: the view from the balcony overlooking the lagoon and the sound beyond, where the turtles lounge on sunny banks, the geese protect their island nests, the ospreys and the cormorants vie for fishing rights, the breeze is warm and tinged with swimming pool steam and barbecue smoke, and the sunsets are to die for.

Which is to say: it’s school vacation, and I’ve earned our by-now bi-annual respite on the very upper tip of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where we can spend the week far from the cares and stresses of the working life with extended family and friends enough to fill three adjacent houses with a week of laughter and leisure, barbecue and beer. And so, in honor of our temporary locale, we kick off the week with an expanded list of otherwise familiar songs about the region – with a promise to return in a few days with a brand new feature on native sons The Avett Brothers, and a reposted series of older features on other artists associated with the Carolinas, including The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Elizabeth Cotten, James Taylor, Doc Watson and more.

  • Mud Acres: Carolina in My Mind (orig. James Taylor)
    Another song by a native son, this one reinvented as a ragged hootenanny by Happy Traum, banjoist Bill Keith, bass player Roly Salley (who penned the oft-covered Killin’ The Blues) and others from the mid-seventies Woodstock, NY Mud Acres music collective.
  • Trocadero: Carolina In The Morning (orig. William Frawley)
    This Tin Pan Alley-era American popular song, well-known from versions by Al Jolson, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, and others, takes a maudlin turn in this version from “experimental rock” band Trocadero, originally recorded for the Red vs. Blue Season 10 soundtrack.
  • Grace Cheng: Carolina (orig. Ben Gibbard)
    Toronto-based Soundcloud amateur Grace Cheng has the sweetly lo-fi vibe of a young Mary Lou Lord; the melancholy tone that results makes for an especially apt vehicle for Ben Gibbard’s escapist break-up fantasy.
  • Doc & Merle Watson: Kinfolks In Carolina (orig. Merle Travis)
    A native son and his son take on Merle Travis’ upbeat tribute to family lines back in the homestead with everything from jazz guitar and brush stylings to boogie-woogie piano in the mix. From Two Days in November, a personal favorite recorded the year before I was born.

Category: Reposts, Vacation Coverfolk 3 comments »

3 Responses to “Carolina Coverfolk 2013, Volume 1:
Songs of the South, As Place and Metaphor

  1. Carolina Coverfolk, Volume 3: Carolina Chocolate Drops (An African American String Band recreates the Piedmont blues) — Cover Lay Down

    […] Carolina Coverfolk 2013, Volume 1: Songs of the South, As Place and Metaphor […]

  2. Carolina Coverfolk, Redux: songs of and from James Taylor, Doc Watson, Elizabeth Cotten, The Avett Brothers & more! — Cover Lay Down

    […] Volume 1: Songs of the South, As Place and Metaphor […]

  3. Carolina Coverfolk, Volume 8: More Native Sons & Daughters from Indiefolk To Bluegrass — Cover Lay Down

    […] Volume 1: Songs of the South, As Place and Metaphor (with covers of and from Red Molly, Mike Seeger, Ben Gibbard, Jimmie Rodgers, Merle Travis and more!) […]

Leave a Reply

Back to top