Don McLean is covering a treasury of music from country, folk, gospel, bluegrass, blues, jazz and soul for his new album of covers, Still Playin’ Favorites, due out tomorrow (Oct. 23) through Time Life.
The collection pays homage to American music and features songs made famous by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Clyde Moody, Mel Tillis, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley, and more, spanning more than 100 years of songwriting. He discusses several of the tracks in a new video series on his YouTube channel, including “Backwater Blues,” originally recorded by Bessie Smith in 1927.
“I just love writing songs and I love hearing songs by good writers that make sense and have lyrics that say something and that are pretty simple,” McLean explains about the concept behind the album. “When it came to recording “Got The Bull By The Horns,” originally performed by Johnny Horton, “I changed a few of the words, I hope he won’t mind,” McLean admits good-naturedly.
Still Playin’ Favorites is modeled after his first album of cover songs, Playin’ Favorites, which was released in 1973 on the heels of his masterworks “American Pie” and “Vincent.”
Still Playin’ Favorites track listing:
1. So Doggone Lonesome (Johnny Cash)
2. Greenback Dollar (Hoyt Axton, Ken Ramsey)
3. Hide Nor Hair (Morton Craft, Percy Mayfield)
4. I Ain’t Never (Webb Pierce, Mel Tillis)
5. Little Sister (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman)
6. I’m Going To Live The Life I Sing About in My Song (Thomas A. Dorsey)
7. Six White Horses (Clyde Moody)
8. Treat Me Nice (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) (Bob Dylan)
10. Backwater Blues (Bessie Smith)
11. The Keys to the Kingdom (Jenny Lou Carson)
12. Got The Bull By The Horns (Amos E. Byrd, Billy Jones)
13. Tell Old Bill (Traditional, Arranged by Don McLean)
14. She Used To Love Me A Lot (Charles W. Quillen, Dennis Morgan, Kye Fleming)