Bonny Light Horseman release cover of Tim Buckley’s “Buzzin’ Fly”
Bonny Light Horseman -- the indie folk supergroup of Anais Mitchell (Hadestown), Fruit Bats' Eric D. Johnson, and indie rock everywhereman Josh Kaufman -- released one of our favorite albums of the year so far with their self-titled debut, which combines original songs with drastically reworked versions of traditional folk songs, and they followed it earlier this month with a two-song single of non-album tracks from the same sessions. Back before the pandemic started (and before Bonny Light Horseman's album was came out), they performed many of its songs at Newport Folk Festival 2019, and they also covered Tim Buckley's 1969 classic "Buzzin' Fly" at that show too. Now, they've released a studio version of that cover.
"I first heard this song when I was in my early 20's, on a mix cassette that my then girlfriend's cool older brother made me," Eric D. Johnson says. "I was instantly entranced - there was something so evocative about the arrangement, the transcendental and romantic lyrical imagery, and Buckley's deeply soulful voice. I knew one of these days I'd cover it. Took me twenty-plus years to find the right situation to do it."
"Josh and Anaïs (and the stellar assemblage of players on this recording) took this song in a new direction that made me fall in love with it all over again," he continues. "Long live buzzin' flies, ringing mountains, flowing rivers, and seabirds who knew your name!" Bonny Light Horseman's version captures the charm of the original, but they really make it their own and make it fit right in with the songs on their album.
In related news, Fruit Bats recently released a vinyl-only full-covers album of The Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream, and this week Eric gave a digital release to a second track from the album, "Hummer." Listen to that below too.