The following few weeks worth of Music Mondays will be guest posts.
This edition of Music Monday is devoted to unlikely collaborations. So many people get caught up in defining their musical tastes based on genre and era when in reality there’s more common ground than you would think. If you look around, you will see that musicians from completely different backgrounds can join forces to create magical results.
Look no further than Jeff Tweedy & Mavis Staples. Who knew that a formula involving the Wilco frontman and a soul/gospel legend could work? It’s a testament to Tweedy’s strengths as a songwriter that “You Are Not Alone” works just as well as a song in his own style as it does a soulful hymn. Be sure to check out Mavis’ fantastic You Are Not Alone. Here’s Jeff Tweedy performing the track solo at Farm Aid:
The latest Gorillaz project, Plastic Beach, features a huge list of collaborators, from Mos Def and Snoop Dogg to Lou Reed, Bobby Womack and members of The Clash. Blur’s Damon Albarn sought out a mixed bag of musical performers and more often than not, it works. “Superfast Jellyfish” poses as a fictitious cereal commercial and features De La Soul doing the verses and Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys on chorus duty.
Finally, we recently said goodbye to Solomon Burke, one of the great voices in soul music of all-time. In 2006, Burke released Nashville, a country album full of all sorts of guest collaborators, including Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Dolly Parton. Here’s the late great Burke performing “Valley of Tears” with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings.
Adam D. Miller is editor-in-chief of Being There. When he’s not poring through the past, present and future of film and music, he’s experiencing great food with his wife Cari and preparing for the arrival of his first child.