What do you get when you put a pop-punk singer and a jazz singer in a studio? A totally stellar old-style country album, as it turns out. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and jazz singer Norah Jones have teamed up to thoroughly surprise the world. Definitely didn't see this coming.
In the late 50s, the Hardy-Boys-esque Everly Brothers debuted with alternately upbeat and somber country music that would influence later iterations of rock, though the duo's heyday would only last until the mid-late 60s. The world is about to rediscover their music through the star power of Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones on their brand new album, Foreverly, which consists of revamped and reclothed covers of the Everly Brothers.
In 1994, Green Day blew up through radio play with their album Dookie. Any child of the 90s can probably sing all of their hits by heart (which made them perhaps irrevocably more pop than punk, especially as fame further brightened and softened any rough edges in their later music). Those who believed that bands like Rise Against, Black Flag, Rancid, and the Sex Pistols were more true gold standards of punk probably always suspected that Billie Joe had a lot more pretty singin' in him than he tried to let on with his punk act, but I must say, his talent on Foreverly is truly unexpected. I would even venture to say that I would not have known it was his voice just by listening. Never really fitting into either the socially and politically rebellious DIY street world of punk, or the larger than life glam and materialism of highly produced pop, perhaps he has finally found his most right musical calling.
As for Norah Jones, she's just good at anything she tries. From jazz lounge to pop (and now to country), her singing has a characteristic style that's hard to argue with, and went instantly classic with the gentle song "Don't Know Why" (Come Away With Me, 2002).
Throw all of these varied backgrounds together and what we have is a work of unique musical artistry that is perfectly comforting in its atmosphere. Its sound mellifluously captures the cozy loneliness of a diner in a small town on the open road. That's very specific, I know, but if you hear it, maybe you'll see how many more details you might find yourself filling in through the sense of time and place that it has created like a story. It's sort of like the Civil Wars (great contemporary folk boy-girl duo best known for the song "Barton Hollow") meets George Jones or Johnny Cash (also from the Everly Brothers era).
Foreverly comes out on November 25th; we've ordered our copies for YOU to check out!
I grew up in the 50s and have never thought of the Everly Brothers as Country.
Thanks for your perspective- Rock, then, I'll bet! A quick Googling seems to settle on "country-influenced rock." Perhaps that works better. As for the modern re-do, it sounds rather straightforwardly country. Before your comment, I didn't catch that the original Everly Brothers were a little bit more like early rock, but you are right!
I'm a French-Canadian published writer.
Visit my website. Go down under section "Nouvelles, etc." and find an article (written by me in a very passable English) about the great Everly Brothers in Quebec back in 1966.
Andre, thank you for sharing this- what amazing experiences! If anyone would know whether this re-make does justice to the Everly Brothers, it would be you!
Another new take on country from a group called Old Dominion. Check out their video here for Break Up With Him: