Watch Amanda Shires & Jason Isbell Cover Bon Iver, Derek & The Dominos, & Richard Buckner
The great singer-songwriters Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell, who are married to each other, have been doing a whole lot of livestreaming during quarantine. Some of the time, they’ve been promoting Reunions, the recent album from Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, the band that includes both Shires and Isbell. But a lot of the time, they’ve just been playing music for the hell of it. Shires, for instance, has a YouTube livestream series called Iso Lounging, where she and Isbell play music with keyboardist Peter Levin. As Brooklyn Vegan points out, the latest episode, from this past weekend, features some cool covers.
The most recent episode is dedicated to songs with girls’ names in the titles. It starts out with Shires singing a lovely version of her friend Richard Buckner’s 1998 song “Ariel Ramirez” — which, as Shires somewhat bashfully says, is not actually a song with a girl’s name in the title, since the “Ariel” of the title, an Argentine composer, happens to be a man. (This leads to a fun conversation where Shires and Isbell disagree over whether Shires is “a dingdong.”)
Later on in the show, Isbell sings lead on a cover of Bon Iver’s 2011 song “Beth/Rest,” a song that he enthusiastically endorses. Isbell attempts to hit the Justin Vernon falsetto, something I’ve never heard him try before. Halfway through the song, he admits that he’s messed the falsetto up and then starts it over. That second take? Pretty good! Then, at the end, they also do “Layla,” the 1971 classic from Eric Clapton’s old band Derek And The Dominos, with Shires singing lead. And yes, they do the outro.
You can watch the whole episode below. The “Ariel Ramirez” cover is at 7:41. “Beth/Rest” is at 15:48 and then again at 17:57. “Layla” is at 31:40. There’s also a whole lot of talking, if you like that sort of thing.
These days, Shires is doing a new Iso Lounging every week. You can subscribe here.