PREMIERE: DRUNKEN HEARTS cover “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” (Pearl Jam) [LISTEN]
PREMIERE: Drunken Hearts cover “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” (Pearl Jam) [LISTEN]
“Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” (Pearl Jam) by Drunken Hearts, featuring Andy Thorn, Lindsay Lou, and Silas Herman, streaming on Spotify on January 12, 2024.
We’ve covered several album releases from Colorado’s Drunken Hearts, and their discography shows a growth in musicianship and song-craft along with an evolution in sound that keeps us listening.
We’ve previously described the Drunken Hearts sound as having “grit and rawness, but still a melodic touch and even a little sweetness hiding under there.” In fact, there are times when the Drunken Hearts’ sound harkens back to a different era of music, one marked by long hair, distortion pedals, and a decent amount of flannel. (If you follow Festy GoNuts, you may have seen our latest throwback mixtapes honoring this era).
With singer/songwriter Andrew McConathy often drawing vocal comparisons to ’90s icon Eddie Vedder, it comes as no surprise that Drunken Hearts would eventually choose to cover a Pearl Jam tune, and they picked one of the most classic from the band’s timeless catalog, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town. What is surprising, however, are the vocal and instrumental arrangements, and the performance woven together by an amazing cast of characters joining McConathy and Drunken Hearts on the track.
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town is one that even the most casual of Pearl Jam fans can likely sing by heart, knowing not just the words, but all the unique vocal inflections in the delivery that only Eddie Vedder can create. But with such a recognizable tune, the challenge and the danger both lie in creating something new and different while staying true to the original that is so widely heralded.
For the task, Drunken Hearts enlisted the producer of their latest album, Reckless Ways of Living David Pahanish. They also called on Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn and vocalist Lindsay Lou to aid in the task, and the result is an unlikely take on the hit tune.
Thorn’s banjo helps to guide it, moving the tune along with one foot planted in a layer of bluegrass, while the other firmly maintains the gritty heart of the original. With McConathy’s vocals, it would have been easy to replicate the lyric delivery of Vedder. However, McConathy changes the cadence just enough to make it his own and keep the listener on their toes, yet still allowing them to easily sing along. Lindsay Lou’s backing adds a layer that moves the song into an undiscovered realm, rising to a crescendo that escapes the ’90s grunge mold and creates an entirely new and unique song.
Andrew McConathy says of Drunken Hearts’ rootsy twist on Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, inspiration came from his childhood love of the song. “My brother used to drive me to and from High School when I was in 9th and 10th grade. We loved listening to Pearl Jam. It felt like we listened to Eddie Vedder every damn day! This is a timeless song that I grew up with, and I love the spin Dave & the band put on it. It’s also becoming a Drunken Hearts staple to play live.”
LISTEN TO THE PREMIER OF Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town. (PreSave NOW on Spotify)
DRUNKEN HEARTS’ new single “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” is a unique Country / Americana take on Pearl Jam’s classic hit. Drunken Hearts’ uptempo version of the song features Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn and vocalist Lindsay Lou. The track was produced by David Pahanish (Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Toby Keith).
Andrew McConathy – lead vocals / acoustic guitar, James Dumm – electric guitar / electric 12 string guitar, Tyler Adams – hammond organ, Drew Packard – upright bass, Eric Low – drums, Dave Pahanish – acoustic guitar / percussion, Andy Thorn – banjo, Lindsay Lou – harmony vox, Silas Herman – mandolin.
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