‘The first time I really listened to Bob Dylan changed my life.' The Canadian folk band The Deep Dark Woods produces some of the loveliest modern folk songs I've heard in some time. Frontman Ryan Boldt recorded two traditional songs and his own Drifting On A Summer's Night'.
A couple of weeks ago, Janssen and his band joined us at the Schenk Studio in Amsterdam to record two astounding cover versions of Vampire Weekend’s 'Ya Hey' and Bruce Springsteen’s 'Streets Of Philadelphia'. 'Ya Hey's chorus is so stunning, it made me want to sing it myself.'
There aren’t many feelings better than discovering new music and getting fully emerged in its beauty. When it happens, nothing else matters. Hannah Epperson’s 'Slowdown' did that for me. So, obviously I was ecstatic when she recorded a session. Fair warning: these videos might tear you apart.
Los Angeles-based songwriter Gregory Ackerman covered Jack Johnson and Neil Young for The Influences. 'I'm inspired by anyone who is writing music that people can really connect to - music that matters, music that makes you feel something, music that makes you forget where you are.'
When Ryan Joseph Burns came to Utrecht from Glasgow earlier this year, I set up a meeting with the Dutch country singer Demi Knight. After a quick rehearsal, they recorded this cover version of Hickory Wind by Grams Parsons and Bob Buchanan.
Awkward I is one of The Netherlands' finest songwriters around. He recorded this new session, including a mind-blowing cover of Judee Sill: 'What I particularly love about her compositions is that they combine the apparent simplicity of a folksong with the structural complexity and elegance of the music of, say, Bach.'
'When I see The Wood Brothers play, I know: this is it. Seeing them makes it easier for me to not care about things. Fuck that shit, I’m doing what I want. You don’t like it? Well, that’s your problem buddy.' Judy Blank played Randy Newman, The Wood Brothers covers, and 'Mary Jane' in her session for The Influences.
'Writing 'Quit The Curse' was so fun, cathartic, and also the most important thing I’ve done in my life.’ Anna Burch debuted on Polyvinyl Record Company with a catchy yet complex indie pop record. She recorded Carly Simon and Aislers Set covers and her own 'Belle Isle' in session for The Influences.
Jerry Leger’s records stand side by side to John Lennon’s in my living room. It’s only fitting because Lennon’s the first association I got from 'Coat On The Rack', the opener of the Canadian songwriter’s latest LP 'Nonsense And Heartache'. At Down By The River festival he covered Gene Clark and The Everly Brothers.
Nicole Atkins' voice is a thing of wonders. So much power and soul. Words sung with so much feeling. But it’s too easy to focus on just that. Especially since she’s proven to be a gifted songwriter and such a powerful performer too.