Thursday, January 05, 2012

Be Good Tanyas

In response to my Country and Northern post, Sheryl Robinson, better known to Fray veterans as Dawn Coyote, asked why I hadn't mentioned the Be Good Tanyas. My first thought was that I don't think of them as "country", but, as I noted at the close of my post, it's a thin line between "country" and "folk". I do like this Vancouver based group of three women, shown in the clip above--the only one I can find that shows them in live performance--doing "Scattered Leaves", a song I hadn't heard before, with bass and drum backing. I like them despite Frazey Ford's singing, as a critic once wrote of Natalie Merchant, "in English as if she'd grown up speaking some Polynesian language."

Here they do "Oh, Susannah", probably as classic a "country" song as there is.

For a more contemporary country sound, here they do Townes van Zandt's "Waitin' Around to Die."

They do blues, too. Here's their cover of Josh White's (or is it their cover of Dylan's cover) of "In My Time of Dying."