Watch Matthew E. White Cover Randy Newman In His Take Away Show

The French website La Blogothèque’s Take Away Shows make for a great way of seeing what an artist is made of. In the video series, artists play without amplification, in natural lighting, in public Paris spaces. And sometimes, they manage to come up with something spellbinding, as with Father John Misty’s recent rendition of “I Went To The Store One Day.” The Richmond, Virginia orchestral-soul singer-songwriter Matthew E. White tends to sound most comfortable when he’s got a full complement of strings and woodwinds playing behind him. But on the most recent Take Away show, he covered Randy Newman’s satirical 1972 classic “Sail Away,” singing and playing guitar with only a few percussionists accompanying him. He did it while wandering around Les Bains, a shuttered Paris nightclub that’s fallen into disrepair in recent years. And as it turns out, White does just fine without his strings. Watch the lovely performance below.

White’s new album Fresh Blood is out 3/9 on Domino. If you haven’t already, check out his Philip Seymour Hoffman tribute “Tranquility.”