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Sunday, 30 April 2017
2011 saw the release of the fifth album by Peel favourite Laura Cantrell who originally shot to fame on Spit and Polish records a label set up by Frances McDonald of Teenage Fanclub fame.
As the title suggests Kitty Wells Dresses:Songs of the Queen of Country Music pays tribute to the great Kitty Wells the first female artist to top the US Country charts in 1952
Let's have the title track written by Laura in tribute to Kitty, her version of that 1952 number one and something a little bit more obscure.
Laura Cantrell - Kitty Wells Dresses
Laura Cantrell -It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Laura Cantrell - I Gave My Wedding Dress Away
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Last week saw the most comprehensive victory in this series and the Dylan series before with Bruce utterly thrashing Lucinda Williams with his song Factory. I think that I was probably the only one out there who cast their vote in favour of Lucinda.
The scores are now therefore The Boss 6 The Rest 2. Springsteen appears to be totally romping it.
Something slightly more up tempo this week and let's face it that wouldn't be difficult.
A second visit to Tunnel of Love sees Bruce's version of All That Heaven Will Allow up against The Mavericks version from their album What a Crying Shame (bought in Polar Bear Records, Kings Heath, Birmingham)
Brucie versus another distinctive voice courtesy of Raul Malo.
There's not really much in it but I think that the Mavs just shade it in terms of energy and passion.
Others, of course may choose to disagree.
Bruce Springsteen - All That Heaven Will Allow
The Mavericks - All That Heaven Will Allow
Friday, 28 April 2017
Today, on what would have been his 88th birthday, we are attending the funeral of Jim who was my mother's partner for the last dozen or so years.
He has a family of his own but we have always considered him part of ours as well to the extent that my nephew who has known him all his life knew him as Grandpa Jim.
When my mum's Parkinsons worsened and she was essentially housebound he would visit every evening and prepare her dinner. He also never missed a day when she was in hospital and subsequently her care home.
A former dairyman (hence the picture) he enjoyed a long and happy retirement .
At various times he kept bees, chickens, quails and pigeons and enjoyed cooking and shopping for food and drink.
He was also a great tennis fan and took great pleasure in the rise of Andy Murray.
He will be sadly missed by us all.
Rest easy Jim
XTC -Love on a Farm Boy's Wages
Roy Harper - When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Short on time and inspiration today so something relatively simple.
Yesterday's featuring of Jonathan Rice had me reaching for Acid Tongue the 2008 second solo album by her (former?) other half Jenny Lewis.
This time round the former Rilo Kiley front woman is not joined by The Watson Twins but a number of other artist feature including Elvis Costello, Zooey Deschannel, Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes and perhaps not surprisingly Mr Rice himself who co-produces the album and who co-writes a number of the songs.
Jenny Lewis - The Next Messiah
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
That's us half way through the series and today we feature the first and probably the last jazz option.
Ella Fitzgerald and possibly Chet Baker are the nearest I'm ever likely to get to jazz.
Ella can also do the Blues but here she is in a more up tempo mood with Let's Kiss and Make Up
Ella Fitzgerald - Let's Kiss and Make Up
Fact's about Razorlight
- Lead singer Johnny Borrell is a twat of almost Bono-esque proportions
- The only time I ever saw them live at King Tuts they were completely blown away by the support act The Raveonettes
- I have their debut album Up All Night which you frequently see in charity shops
- In the Morning is actually a reasonably good song
I saw Jonathan Rice support Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins. I suspect he got the gig as he is romantically linked to Ms Lewis . Indeed they frequently play and record together as Jenny and Johnny.
This song is taken from his 2005 debut album Trouble is Real.
It is only now whilst doing my usual extensive research that I remember him mentioning that he spent his childhood alternating between Virginia and Glasgow where he attended school in Bishopbriggs
More assorted nonsense next week
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Where George waxes lyrical about Portuguese showermats
We recently had a city break, two nights in a post-industrial city about 2 hours drive from our little seaside town. Once the sardine capital of the world (the city not our town). Nice little hotel, central location, near to many bars, cafes and restaurants, including a vegetarian cafe that does a great lunch for 9.50 euros, for which you get a natural fruit juice, soup, main dish and a dessert, vegan options available. There’s also a very good Indian restaurant. Anyway, I was having a shower in the hotel, having a little sing to myself – Nice One, Cyril as you ask (I substitute my name for Cyril) , and no, I wasn’t gazing admiringly at any part of my anatomy at the time– and I thought “this is a great shower mat, better than the ones we have at home”. And it was, nice and rubbery, a good grip on the bath surface, and pleasing to the foot. Yes, such are the things that occupy my mind, after all that schooling, the years spent in Higher Education, the research, the teaching, and I’m thinking how good the shower mat is. Our first one in the town house was a bit plasticky, a bit hard, and also, a bit slippy, so not really fit for purpose. Its replacement grips the bath well, has a slightly abrasive surface, quite comfortable on the feet, not at all slippy, but certainly not as good as the one in our hotel. In the groundfloor shower room in the town house and at the farm, we have what can only be described as poor man’s versions of THM (The Hotel Mat), good surface grip, rubbery, but a bit thin. And having just read that description, I’m sure there’s joke in there.
And of course I got to thinking about shower songs, songs that I sing in the shower and also songs that are about showers, or include the word shower. And yes, for some reason, Nice One Cyril is a regular, as is the theme tune to the old tv series Rupert The Bear. Having typed that, I think my good friend and host of this blog might be contacting a doctor or two at his psychiatric hospital and passing on my name......especially when I add that I substitute my name in both the above songs, it scans nicely if I use a slightly childlike derivation of my first name.
Somewhere in the Music Room I’ve got a 1980s song called Singing In The Shower, it’s on one of the 190 or so Peel Tapes, but I can’t find it. But there is this splendid honky-tonk country song from the 12CD box set Life’s Like Poetry by Lefty Frizzell:
And the title of that song puts me in mind of the rather crude phrase Shit, Shower, Shave, which then reminds me of something I heard at a football match at Vale Park in the late 1980s. This is true. A bloke in front of me turned to who I assume was his mate and said “ey up, after the match, I’m going to go home, have a mixed grill, a good wank, and then go out”.
And finally. On this day in 1944 Michael Volker Kogel was born, in Berlin. He moved to Spain and was in a band called Los Bravos, and this is their most famous song. (It was later criminally covered by La Belle Epoque):
Next week: Why my red ShoeFayre slippers are not as good as my Coronation Street ones.
Monday, 24 April 2017
Oh behave yourselves - you are not, repeat not getting Chesney Hawkes.
No rather the recent posts by Swiss Adam and The Swede celebrating the return of Peter Perrett had me dusting down my meagre Only Ones section (all two of them) for the first time in while.
As Adam highlighted it is obligatory for all blogs to feature one the the greatest songs of all time Another Girl, Another Planet.
I ticked that box a while back so to show that they were no one-trick pony here are a couple more from Peter and his pals.
The Only Ones - The Whole of the Law
The Only Ones - No Peace For the Wicked
Sunday, 23 April 2017
I was listening to 6 Music on Friday night (21st April ) when Iggy Pop came on to do his show with the announcement that it was his 70th birthday. He announced that he shared the date with Robert Smith of The Cure who has just turned 58 and some wifey called Betty Windsor who is now 91. I don't have any of her records.
At one stage you wouldn't have put money on Iggy reaching 50 never mind 70.However, he still appears fighting fit and has maintained his inner child and indeed a great taste in music.
Long may he reign over us.
Iggy Pop -Real Wild Child
The Cure - The Love Cats
Saturday, 22 April 2017
In the end a fairly convincing victory by Bruce over Johnny Cash with their respective versions of Johnny 99. I suspect that it may well have been different had The Man in Black been on the top of his game.
Generally agreed that both have recorded much better.
Bruce is now building a somewhat commanding lead with the score now The Boss 5 The Rest 2.
Can he be stopped and will this week's offering narrow the gap?
It is our first visit to Darkness on the Edge of Town with Springsteen's blue collar anthem Factory.
The cover version was not originally on my radar when I mooted this series put it popped up the other day when I was listening to Lucinda Williams latest album The Ghosts of Highway 20.
I'm a massive Lucinda fan and no-one does a dirge better than her so it is Lucinda for me this week.
Others. of course, may choose to differ
Bruce Springsteen - Factory
Lucinda Williams - Factory
Friday, 21 April 2017
Katie Crutchfield who goes by the nom de plume Waxahatchee has a new album called Out in the Storm coming out soon.
I've seen it advertised for 23 quid for a vinyl copy or 34 quid for the deluxe double album version.
Given that this represents about half my annual record buying budget you will just have to settle for a couple of tracks from her excellent third album from 2015 Ivy Tripp
The band are named after Waxahatchee Creek in Alabama with the word deriving from the Muskogee language one of the languages spoken in the Creek Nation (now Georgia and Alabama) Here is a more detailed explanation
For some reason my burning software has not recogised the media content so this may come up on your screens as unknown. Apologies.
Waxahatchee- Under a Rock
Waxahatchee - Summer of Love
Thursday, 20 April 2017
After reading JC's recent Del Amitri post I decided to give Waking Hours a spin.
I was struck by the similarity in subject matter between Move Away Jimmy Blue (1989) and Bronski Beat's Small Town Boy (1984)
Th.is in turn put me in mind of the 18 months I spent living in a small town. A place where if you were not born there you were never going to by accepted and where two gay friends of mine were subjected to regular verbal and physical abuse.
It becomes a self perpetuating problem as the more enlightened understandably move away at the earliest opportunity leaving such places to the knuckle draggers.
Del Amitri - Move Away Jimmy Blue
Bronskie Beat - Smalltown Boy
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
I hear what you are saying - there just hasn't been enough jug band music out there recently.
Right, time to change that with the appropriately named Jim Kweskin Jug Band who were active in the Boston area in the early 60s and featured both Geoff and Maria Muldaur among their members
There was the obligatory reunion around 2006 when the churned out more Crazy Words, Crazy Tunes
Jim Kweskin Jug Band - Crazy Words, Crazy Tunes
Ivy were a New York City band consisting of Adam Schlesinger, Andy Chase and Dominique Durand who were on the go from 1995 to around 2011. Mr Schlesinger is also a member of Fountains of Wayne with the other two recording an album as Paco.
They cite the Go-Betweens as an influence hence this cover of Streets of Your Town from their 2002 album Guestroom which as the title suggests was an album consisting entirely of covers
Ivy - Streets of Your Town
Given that there are a couple of his albums on the shelves I was pretty sure that I had featured singer/songwriter Guy Clark who died last year aged 74 before but apparently not.
I would imagine that many of you are familiar with this one of his more famous tunes.
I saw him play at the Arches in Glasgow. The promoter Tom Hamilton later told me that he was one of the most unpleasant and demanding artists that he had ever put on
Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway
We reach the halfway mark of this assorted nonsense next week
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
When you are struggling for something to write, which is often the case, it is often good to visit other blogs
Hence my last two posts with have been inspired by visits to Brian and Jez' places.
Brian is again today's source of inspiration albeit in a slightly more obtuse way. The way my mind works his recent featuring of The Elvis Brothers got me thinking it was high time that The Cash Brothers graced these pages.
From Toronto brothers Andrew and Peter Cash were part of the alt country scene in the first few years of the Millennium
These two stonkers are taken from 2001's How Was Tomorrow on Zoe Records which is pretty much a re-release of their 1999 album Raceway.
No relations to the great man as far as I am aware
The Cash Brothers - Raceway
The Cash Brothers - Nebraska
Monday, 17 April 2017
Jez in his inimitable style marked the Easter Holiday celebrations with an excellent post on Friday.
This led to me racking my brains to see if I could come up with anything Easter related.
I failed pretty miserably.
The best I could come up with was a 13th Floor Elevators album cover and the two songs featured below.
Theresa May and the Daily Mail will be less than impressed.
Hope you enjoyed your eggs (and the DIY)
Mott the Hoople - Roll Away The Stone
The Stone Roses - I Am The Resurrection
Sunday, 16 April 2017
Something nice and mellow for Easter Sunday despite the subject matter.
Our pal Brian at the ever excellent Linear Tracking Lives! pages recently features some original Everly Brothers numbers versus some brilliant covers by Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe.
This got me thinking that I have not yet featured the harmonious siblings on these pages - harmonious in the musical sense that is if not the personal.
Here then are a couple of numbers from a cheap and cheerful Greatest Hits I picked up in my local charity shop some time back, Not sure why it hasn't seen the light of day before now.
I was all set to feature Take a Message to Mary until I realized that Brian had featured it so I'm Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail was a late substitute.
Saturday, 15 April 2017
A fairly narrow victory for Bruce over Marah last week with their respective versions of Streets of Philadelphia.. Both Drew and JC weighed in with the version by Glasgow's Butcher Boy with JC kindly providing a link to the song.I'm looking forward to seeing them at Govanhill Baths next Saturday.
The scores then are now The Boss 4 The Rest 2.
In order to stop him surging further ahead it may now be necessary to roll out the big guns to challenge Rol's Nebraska Protocols theory in the comments last week namely that no-one can better the versions on that album.
Well here is Johnny Cash the man who could normally read the phonebook and sound brilliant with Johnny 99 one of two Springsteen covers on his album of the same name.
Unfortunately this is taken from his pre American Recordings wilderness years where he was clearly not on the top of his game so somewhat reluctant as I am to go against The Man in Black it is The Boss for me.
Others, of course, may choose to disagree
Bruce Springsteen - Johnny 99
Johnny Cash -- Johnny 99
Friday, 14 April 2017
I can't quite believe that I've never featured Jonathan Goes Country before. But I've checked and it is indeed the case
His second solo album from 1990 on the Special Delivery label it is a bit of a departure from what had gone before.
Featuring some classic country covers and a number of originals using country music as a starting point it is probably not everyone's cup of tea but I enjoy it immensely.
I pick up songs I can sing with feeling he states. Quite And not a Velvet Underground reference in sight
He's crazy, so what's the fuss?
Jonathan Richman - You're Crazy For Taking The Bus
Jonathan Richman - Corner Store
Thursday, 13 April 2017
Like many people I was only really familiar with John Warren Geils Jr from Centrefold the number 1 hit single from the J. Geils Band.
Again like many people I had assumed he was the singer when he was in fact the lead guitarist. The singer was Peter Wolf
For ages a friend was on at me to acquire Blow Your Face Out a 1976 live album by the band. Knowing only Centrefold I resisted to the extent that he ended up buying it and giving it to me.
Some splendid Blues and a whole lot better that Centrefold as these two songs will testify.
Rest easy JG
The J. Geils Band - Truck Drivin' Man
The J.Geils Band - Love-itis
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
No Kylie this week but some other cute birds! (I'll get my coat)
First up are The Guillemots. Not our splendid feathered friends featured above but the London BRIT nominated indie rock band formed in 2004 by Fyfe Dangerfield. I hope that is his real name. Here is the rather splendid Who Left The Lights Off, Baby? from their 2006 EP From the Cliffs
The Guillemots - Who Left The Lights Off, Baby?
Back across the pond now to Austin Texas for a bit of indie rock courtesy of Shearwater a band's whose music is notable for its imagery based in nature, cerebral yet intimate melodic songs (© Pseud's Corner). Seventy Four, Seventy Five is taken from their 2006 album Palo Santo on Misra Records
Shearwater - Seventy Four, Seventy Five
And we end with The Yahoos apparently once described as the Harlem Globetrotters of Roots Rock and featuring Dan Baird who was the frontman of The Georgia Satellites. Their 2001 debut album Fear Not the Obvious was on the mighty Bloodshot label a personal favourite of mine as I am sure that some of you are aware of. Where's Your Boyfriend At? however comes from their second album in 2006 Put the Hammer Down on Lakeside Lounge Records
The Yahoos - Where's Your Boyfriend At?
I'm guessing that BO14 was put together in 2006! More nonsense from around about then next week
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
I am still working my way through my recent windfall.
Some have already been dispatched back to the charity shop and a few have found their way to the shelves.
Then there is what I'm referring to as the Kenny Dalglish pile - The Maybees Ayes, Maybees Nos which will require a listen or two before a final decision.
One which comes into this category was The Best of Then Jerico; (not sure whether the semicolon is obligatory or not).
A late 80's band I had vaguely heard of but couldn't tell you any of their songs. Mrs CC's sister was obviously a fan as there is also a vinyl LP of theirs from the same source.
I recognized the first song Big Area which is just about ok. Thereafter it goes down hill fairly rapidly and it was a struggle to pick a second from those I listened to. I never made it to the end.
As bland as Big Blandy McBland the king of the Bland people.
Needless to say they are now on the revival circuit which smacks of desperation.
This one is going back
Then Jerico; -Big Area
Then Jerico; - Muscle Deep
Monday, 10 April 2017
Thea Gilmore has appeared twice on these pages recently with excellent covers in the Dylan and Springsteen series'.
Although her talent shines through this is somewhat of a dis-service as she has delivered many excellent songs in her own right and here are a couple for your listening pleasure.
First up is Heart String Blues taken from her fourth album from 2002 Songs From the Gutter.
This is followed up by Juliet (Keep That in Mind) a single from the follow up album 2003's
This is the only one of hers that I own.
I'm pretty sure that I saw her at King Tuts around then but a quick rummage through my ticket tin has not officially confirmed that that was indeed the case.
Thea Gilmore - Heart String Blues
Thea Gilmore - Juliet (Keep That in Mind)
Sunday, 9 April 2017
Super Furry Animals records - like buses. None for ages then two come along at once.
I hadn't intended to re-feature them quite so quickly.
However, when I stumbled across their 1996 debut album Fuzzy Logic for 50p in my local charity shop it seemed foolish not to.
I've deliberately avoided selecting any of the singles which are also included on last week's featured album Songbook.
Rest assured that there is still plenty of quality to choose from as these two numbers hopefully demonstrate.
I think that a post featuring Hangin' with Howard Marks has appeared on the blogosphere fairly recently - at Jez' place perhaps?
Super Furry Animals - Mario Man
Super Furry Animals - Hangin' with Howard Marks
Saturday, 8 April 2017
A resounding thrashing last week for the Boss last week from Thea Gilmore with her version of Cover Me resulting in the scores now being The Boss 3 The Rest 2.
A lot of you whilst recognizing that there are some good songs on Born in the USA (which it seems I should refer to as BITUSA) shared my misgivings as to the production value.Even some Bruce die hards (you know who you are) were turned.
Something to remember then whenever it looks as though Bruce is extending his lead ( I think I can stretch to first to 10 if that's ok with you)
Something completely different for you this week. Springsteen with his Oscar winning Streets of Philadelphia (1994) from the Oscar winning film Philadelphia from 1993 versus a zany country version from the Kids from Philly themselves Marah.
As highly entertaining and amusing as the Marah version is it is Brucie for me this week.
Others, as always, may choose to disagree
Friday, 7 April 2017
The second installment in this occasional series is Midnite Vulture the fourth official studio album and seventh overall released by Beck in 1999 on DGC Records.
One I had from the record library and hadn't played in ages. Not sure why really as it is terrific. It has probably been played more in the last week than in the last decade.
As I mentioned yesterday a bonus of acquiring the actual article is that you get the cover as well as the music and in this case it is every bit as psychedelic.
I only have this and Odelay so plenty of others to explore
I suspect that both yesterday's and today's were handed in by the same person. The fool.
Be aware that this series will pop up when you least expect it, Stay tuned
Beck - Nicotine & Gravy
Beck - Get Real Paid
Thursday, 6 April 2017
The next two days will feature posts from a new occassional series - Upgraded.
Like most of you I would imagine I have a number of burns rather than original CDs - either from the library or from friends.
Burns officially don't count so it is always good to upgrade to the actual disc particularly when your local charity shop is selling them for 50p a pop.It's also ggod to get your hands on the sleevenotes and the cover as well.
The first to feature is one which I know will delight The Robster and indeed I suspect many more of you.
The post title somewhat gives it away but not necessarily the album cover.Yes it is It's Blitz! the third album by New York's Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
An album I'm willing to bet which is on the shelves of both Stina Tweeddale of Honeyblood and Jehnny Beth of Savages.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Shame and Fortune
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Runaway
Seconds out tomorro
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
A veritable mixed bag for you today as we serve up Burnt Offerings 13.
We start with Australia's finest export and one of those superstars known the world over by their fist name.
Here Kylie gives us a live take on a Clash classic - one I should maybe have saved for a future Clash covered series perhaps?
Kylie Minogue - Should I Stay or Should I Go
Kylie is followed (as if anyone could follow Kylie) by an artist who has previously featured on these pages as a Drive- By Trucker. Today Patterson Hood is in solo mode and is Dead Drunk and Naked
His father David was the bassist in the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section
Patterson Hood - Dead Drunk and Naked
And finally we feature The Polyphonic Spree a choral rock band and wearers of white robes from Dallas fronted by the splendidly named Tim DeLaughter and a band which contains a multitude of members.
One of my few claims to fame is that I once saw them playing live in someone's front garden in Austin (it was a big garden!)
The Polyphonic Spree - Hold Me Now
More assorted nonsense, but probably slightly less eclectic, nest week
But not before I give you the legendary Frank Sidebottom's unique take on a Kylie classic
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
I'd be interested to hear folks take on Green Day.
For what it's worth here's my take.
I was probably too old when they made their commercial breakthrough in the mid 90's for them to make much of an impression on me.. I think their music is ok but it is nothing that we haven't heard before and often better.
They put me in mind of a poor man's Sugar or even Husker Du. I suppose if their success brought such bands to the attention of a new audience then that's a good thing.
By all accounts frontman Billy Joe Armstrong is a bit of a plonker. However it could be argued that he is something of a visionary given that he at an early stage identified the qualities of his country's current President.
Green Day - Chump
Green Day - American Idiot
Monday, 3 April 2017
In the comments section on Springsteen Covered - Hungry Heart Rol mentioned that he had a version by English actor Minnie Driver.
I confessed to there being a copy of one of her albums on the shelves. It is 2004's Everything I've Got in my Pocket the first of three albums she has released.
I was blissfully unaware it had Hungry Heart on it which shows how many times I've listened to it.
I don't think it would have trumped The Boss or Swamp Dogg
My verdict on Minnie's music. Pleasant enough and she can certainly hold a tune. Would she have had three albums released had she not been a famous artist? Possibly not.
Minnie Driver - Everything I've Got In My Pocket
Minnie Driver - Hungry Heart
Sunday, 2 April 2017
It's SFA Sunday today.
Not Sweet Fanny Adams the second album from The Sweet released in 1974 nor indeed the blazer wearing incompetents that are the Scottish Football Association.
No it is Welsh psychadelic rock band Super Furry Animals.
A band I didn't think I was too familiar with until I picked up Songbook which features their first 21 singles but it turns out that I recognized a few of the tunes.
I came across it as I neared the end of the last shelf of the fourth and final charity shop in Stranraer (now five as the Cat Protection League were scheduled to open the next day).
So I very nearly ended up with Sweet FA.
A band I know that some of my blogging chums are very keen on and one I am enjoying catching up on.
I could have featured any of the 21 singles (except Hermann Loves Pauline which has featured before) as they are all of consistently high standard.
I have opted for these two, one in English and one in Welsh.
Super Furry Animals - (Drawing) Rings Around the World
Super Furry Animals - Ysbeidiau Heulog
Saturday, 1 April 2017
I thought I had you last week with Swamp Dogg's cover of Hungry Heart but no the Boss came back strongly to take it reasonable comfortably.
The scores are now The Boss 3 The Rest 1. Like the Scottish Premier League it could be all over by Easter.
People are voting along similar lines each week with less of the fence jumping we had with Dylan. There are clearly more Bruce fans ought there than I first thought and also those who detest everything he does.
A second covers outing for Thea Gilmore who appeared on the Dylan series (she also does good songs of her own) with Cover Me.
Confession time. I did not own Born in the USA so had to acquire it for the purpose of this series.
Probably my least favourite Springsteen album due to the over production and all round ubiquitousness of it.
You couldn't turn on the radio or the telly in 1984 without one of the seven top 10 singles blaring out.
I'm going for Thea. others, of course, may think I'm an April Fool and choose to differ.
Bruce Springsteen - Cover Me
Thea Gilmore - Cover Me