Cover story

Cover Story: (40) Like a Rolling Stone. Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones or Hendrix

June 2021 added thoughts: hardly an update as you'll find all I have to say in this short piece and some very astute comments posted by readers when the article originally appeared earlier in the Cover Story series ... just... Read more →


Cover Story: (26) Joan of Arc. Leonard Cohen with and without Jennifer Warnes

June 2021 update: there is no specific anniversary to justify reposting this item though it is half a century this year (inconveniently earlier this year) that Leonard Cohen's Joan of Arc was first released. And we're far too soon, as... Read more →


Cover Story: (15) The Queen and the Soldier. Suzanne Vega or Kathryn Roberts and Kate Rusby

June 2021 update: back in 2017, when I first published this quick look at the outstanding Suzanne Vega song, The Queen and the Soldier, I promised to add details of the arrangement used by Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts for... Read more →


Cover Story: (23) Mná na H-éireann (Women of Ireland). Kate Bush or Nolwenn Leroy

May 2021 update: Mná na H-éireann in Gaelic, Women of Ireland in English, is a thing of beauty, whether as song or tune. The idea of republishing this instalment of Cover Story, a popular and long-running series comparing different versions... Read more →


Cover Story: (5) From Clare to Here. Ralph McTell, Bob Fox or Nanci Griffith

May 2021 update: Ralph McTell’s second most famous song. I have been an admirer of his music for decades. I first saw him at the Sunderland Empire, taking the stage a little nervously after a pulsating support set from Lindisfarne,... Read more →


Cover Story: (3) Our Town. Iris DeMent or Kate Rusby, American Midwest or South Yorkshire

May 2021 update: this was only the third instalment of our Cover Story series, one now stretching to around 70. At the time, I was wondering aloud whether the place Iris DeMent had in mind when writing and singing about... Read more →


Dylan at 80: positively a bitter slice of the master’s prose and the 'gawping amazement' it stirs

May 2021 update: on Sunday, the eve of Bob Dylan's 80th birthday, I will publish a selection of beautiful tributes from UK artists and writers. One of the contributors who responded to my invitation, the writer Colin Irwin, describes the... Read more →