The difference between appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2010 vs during the Almost Famous era is huge, but the sentiments and rock ’n’ roll satire remain gently pointed in “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone,” a song written by Shel Silverstein and first recorded by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show in 1973. Right, Silverstein is the children’s book writer/artist behind the heartbreaking The Giving Tree and Where The Sidewalk Ends, A Light In The Attic, etc., but he also did those cartoons for Playboy, wrote theater pieces, and penned a ton of songs like “A Boy Named Sue.” Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute To The Songs Of Shel Silverstein — produced by Bobby Bare, Jr. and Bobby Bare, Sr. — shines a light on a few, collecting “Sue” (here performed here by Todd Snider) and 14 others. The updated take on “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone” features Pixies’ Black Francis and Joey Santiago along with Bare Jr. on guitar, David Vandervelde on bass, and Aaron Ford of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead on drums. The irony’s not lost that two of the folks from the band who influenced Nirvana, Radiohead, Weezer, Blur, etc., but never got rich doing it are singing about making $10 million dollars a show, piloting limos, and having their way with blue-eyed groupies. And, right, the cast of Glee beat them to that cover.
Twistable, Turnable Man’s tracklist:
01 “Lullabys, Legends and Lies” – My Morning Jacket
02 “The Twistable, Turnable Man Returns” – Andrew Bird
03 “This Guitar Is For Sale” – John Prine
04 “The Unicorn” – Dr. Dog
05 “The Winner” – Kris Kristofferson
06 “Queen Of The Silver Dollar” – Sarah Jarosz w/ Black Prairie
07 “Daddy What If” – Bobby Bare, Jr.
08 “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone” – Black Francis w/ Joey Santiago
09 “Sylvia’s Mother” – The Boxmasters
10 “Me And Jimmy Rodgers” – Ray Price
11 “A Boy Named Sue” – Todd Snider
12 “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan” – Lucinda Williams
13 “The Living Legend” – Bobby Bare, Sr.
14 “The Giving Tree” – Nanci Griffith
15 “26 Second Song” – My Morning Jacket
Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein is out 6/8 via Sugar Hill.