Sunday, September 6, 2009

2004 : 32 "Soulful Shade Of Blue" by Neko Case (covering Buffy Saint-Marie)

Case is one of those rare artists who can blend original material and cover songs effortlessly, with said cover songs working more as homages than new interpretations. Given her status as one of the best live performers of today, "Soulful Shade Of Blue" works on all of these levels. It's a very simple, almost quaint tale of lost love and redemption.

Dressmaker, dressmaker,
I'm singing at the hall next saturday night and he'll be there.
He's been gone for so long, I want him back again,
Make me the sweetest dress you can.

Make it a soulful shade of blue with a ribbon at the hem,
A ribbon white for loyalty to show that I remember when
A soulful shade of blue looked into my eyes
And tell him I want him back again.

Originally recorded by Buffy Saint-Marie, Case sings "Soulful Shade Of Blue" in a virtually identical arrangement, albeit with backup vocals and at a faster pace. Case's own songs are complex, metaphor-laden looks at love and life in both urban and rural settings, and this cover feels like a minimalist version of her own material. It's intentionally old-fashioned, catchy, and highlights the amazing legacy of Canada's musical history. I've seen Case perform this song twice, and it has always been one of her best staples. Everything that she stands for can be found in these two and a half minutes.

Jamie Yates

Listen: Neko Case >> "Soulful Shade of Blue"

No comments: