Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cover Me, Day Seven : Love Is A Stranger - Martha Wainwright

Some head-scratching has been done for the final day of Cover Me.  I wanted to pick something that's a bit of craic, that gets the toe tapping. So Lucinda Williams singing a Greg Brown song didn't make the cut, as brilliant as it is. The same goes for Elbow's version of Running To Stand Still - it'd be like saying 'thanks for reading the blog, here's a lovely song about heroin, wah-hey!'

Instead, I've gone with Martha Wainwright's giddy take on a Eurythmics classic. Martha comes from a family of gifted songwriters who sometimes write about each other in eviscerating but always brilliant ways. They are also interpretive singers of some note. Rufus recorded a version of Hallelujah for a little-seen art-house film called Shrek. Martha Wainwright joined Rufus and their parents for a sublime version of Irving Berlin's What'll I Do. It appears on an album called The McGarrigle Hour that's well worth hunting down.

And then there's Martha Wainwright's suite of Edith Piaf songs - what a voice! I was lucky enough to see her sing a few of them at a show in Sligo, accompanied by just her husband on piano and bass. An amazing performer - if Martha's ever in your town, don't miss her.

This version of Love Is A Stranger appears at the end of Wainwright's second album  I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too - surely a contender for best album titles. It's the work of a fan who just so happens to have vocal chords to match Annie Lennox. A tune to turn way up, to lep around the room to, to blast out your car stereo. Whatever you're doing, enjoy this one.

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