watch Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires cover Bon Iver, “Layla,” & more
Amanda Shires recently revived her "I So Lounging" livestream series on YouTube, and for the third episode of its "second wave," Amanda (wearing one of the Black Sabbath 'Black Lives Matter' tees), her husband and frequent collaborator Jason Isbell, and keyboardist Peter Levin played "songs with a girl’s name in the title" together. They began with a cover of Richard Buckner's "Ariel Ramirez," although, as Amanda expained, she's learned that the titular Ariel doesn't refer to a girl. After that, as promised, they covered Bon Iver's "Beth/Rest," with Jason taking vocals, falsetto included.
"This is a song that I just really love," Jason said, introducing the cover. "When Amanda and I first sorta started hanging out with each other, she told me I should listen to Bon Iver and I did, and it changed my days, it gave me something that I really could enjoy and something that didn't remind me of everything else on earth, and something I genuinely loved. Y'know, I'm not one of those people that said I loved Bon Iver, I actually rode around listening to it in my car by myself all day long."
They restarted the song a few minutes in, with Amanda delivering a sweet anecdote about how John Prine dealt with false starts.
UPDATE: Justin Vernon responded to the cover on Twitter, writing, "Pretty crazy to hear such an amazing And familiar singer sing something you wrote #humbled"
The "I So Lounging" episode also includes a cover of the Derek And The Dominos / Eric Clapton classic "Layla." You can watch the whole thing below. "Beth/Rest" starts at 15:08.
Bon Iver, meanwhile, released "AUATC," a new song featuring Bruce Springsteen, Jenny Lewis, Elsa Jensen, and Jenn Wasner, last week.