News / Arts & Entertainment

John Denver Tribute Links Musicians from Various Genres, Generations

FILE--John Denver is shown performing in Moscow, July 1, 1985.
FILE--John Denver is shown performing in Moscow, July 1, 1985.
Katherine Cole
Fifteen years after his death in a small plane crash and more than 40 years after his first hit, John Denver’s songs are getting a new lease on life. “The Music Is You,” is a new tribute that brings musicians from various genres and generations together to re-imagine Denver’s biggest hits.

The musicians include southern rockers My Morning Jacket, who cover “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” The 10-piece alternative band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros reinterprets “Wooden Indian.” And multi-Grammy winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams delivers a soulful take on “This Old Guitar.” Williams says she was determined to make the song her own.

“You know, you don’t want to do a John Denver song and sound like John Denver. I mean, you want to show that ‘Wow, look how this song can be done,” she said.“You know, the more I got into it, I was really moved. I was actually moved to tears a little ... you can hear that in the song.”

Unlike some tribute discs, “The Music Is You” was not produced to bring attention to an underrated or forgotten artist. Denver was a superstar, selling millions of records, packing concert venues the world over and starring in hit movies. He was instantly recognizable, even when on humanitarian missions in the most remote places.

'The Music Is You': A Tribute to John Denver
'The Music Is You': A Tribute to John Denveri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Denver would have been 70 years old this December. Producers of the tribute CD hope that the new versions of old favorites will please Denver’s loyal followers while winning his music new fans.  Among the new versions on the release is Evan Dando of the Lemonheads singing "Looking for Space.”

Brandi Carlile, 32, grew up listening to Denver’s music and his writing inspired her own career as a singer-songwriter.

x
“I hope that people that love John Denver’s music will look at this album and its tribute as an honest to goodness inspired version of how we as singer-songwriters are influenced by John Denver’s music and by his lyrics and his life," she said. "I hope that they’ll see that none of us are trying to be John Denver, because that is a bar that no one will reach.”
    
Teaming up with Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile took on the daunting task of covering Denver’s iconic “Take Me Home, Country Roads” for “The Music Is You.” They’ve made it sound like their own song…that’s the mark of a good tribute.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Matthew Wade sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his new CD, “Diamond from Coal,” his fourth album with his band, My Silent Bravery.