Damien Jurado: A Slowcoustic Cover Project — Part III

Damien Jurado – photo by Sarah Jurado


Lotte Kestner is always a favourite to my ears and to the pages of this website. Her covers are very well known and range many artists and one artist she truly admires is a local artist (to her) in Damien Jurado – so I specifically thought of her when starting this up and once again floored by the submission she sent over. The airy delivery and signature pensive and ethereal atmosphere created in the music of Lotte Kestner translates to Last Rights perfectly. She had a bit to say about the song;

“I think this may have been the first song i ever heard Damien Jurado sing, in a theater, and i fell in love with the way his melodies trill downward. he is so good at sounding lonely and wise.” 

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Sean Nilsson who records as Sheltered In Sound  has been quiet lately and told me that this Damien Jurado cover is one of the only things he has recorded in almost 4 years! Well we are honoured to have his cover of Rachel & Cali from Jurado’s Saint Bartlett album for you to listen to today. Nilsson played all the instruments on the track and indicated he played around with the arrangement a bit (now that he is back to making music!) and I think it worked out great. Listen for yourself below;

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Next we have Glasgow, Scotland’s Jack James version of Reel to Reel. A track from Jurado’s most recent album Maroqopa that comes off as very Richard Swift produced on the album (I don’t really know what that means, but I will say it) finds a new home with the slight gravel voiced James on this track. The song is almost turned from a spooky carnival ride to a late night whisky lament…so then, I approve.  James had the below to say about Jurado and the cover song he recorded;

Damien Jurado is the artist I most identify with in regards to the writing, style and production of songs, his influence is probably very noticeable on all my albums so far. The first album I heard from him was passed to me by a friend, “And Now That I’m In Your Shadow”, it sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before, I had no idea you could communicate such depth from such sparse arrangements. I began changing my writing style at that time after hearing that, and I was trying to listen to any other similar artists that I could find. It was like discovering a hidden world of music, and everything in it was new to me.
It wasn’t until I heard “Caught In The Trees” that I decided that I was going to record my first album. I remember very clearly hearing a song from that record for the first time, and realising that the chord progression was the same as a song I had written a couple of months previously. A simple thing, and coincidental, but it made me think “hey, maybe I can do this”.
I’ve not a missed a chance to see him perform live when he travels to Scotland, even having the pleasure of shaking his hand and getting records signed a couple of times. The cover of “Reel to Reel” that I’m doing is based off my memory of his solo performances from those shows, I remembered that track being particularly great when broken down and stripped back.

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Lastly today we have Jeremy Squires and his beauty of a song, Sheets. This one is also one of my favourite songs from Jurado (but again, I have more than a few ‘favourites’) – the tale of the love triangle.  Knowing you are ‘trapped’ and unable to let go of a lover, even when sleeping in the “…still I sleep in the very sheets he’s been in”. Squires makes it his own with the fully acoustic cover that includes just enough of a Southern drawl peeking out of his voice – a song perfect for a bit of drawl if I ever heard one.

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Day three down! Pretty damn good so far, right?  Remember to visit Damien Jurado whenever possible.  You might even purchase some originals by visiting Secretly Canadian.