Annie Clark aka St. Vincent is only one of a handful of guitarists in this ‘new era’ of music that I get goose bumps when I listen to her play. Her secret she once commented was “trusting your own instincts, being yourself”. There is no doubt that this guitar virtuoso can mix it with the best and has time and time again proved herself as a songwriter and guitarist with her own body of work. (Check out the sublime Birth In Reverse.) But she is also an incredible reinterpreter of other artists’ songs. She has developed an extensive collection of cover songs that she has played that go far back as 2007. Some of my favourite classic tracks over the years that she has covered include Never Tear Us Apart by INXS and Pearl Jam’s Black. But I guess the grand-daddy of all tracks that I have the most affection for is her version of John Lennon’s Dig A Pony from The Beatles Let It Be album.
As far as songs go, it was recorded in 1969 and has often been simply passed over as utter nonsense. In 1980, Lennon, in an interview, even once referred to it as “(just) another piece of garbage”. Of course, that just simple isn’t true and the fact that St. Vincent sees value in its larrikin nature is incredible. She could have really chosen from a few hundred Beatles songs to cover but surprisingly settled on Dig A Pony and makes good use in between Lennon’s crazy lyrics to show off her guitar prowess. I salute you Annie!
Photo credit: The header image of St. Vincent at the All Points West Festival in 2009 is by flickr user Amanda Hatfield and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. I am not the uplodaer of the You Tube clip embedded here.
I just recently started listening to St Vincent. She’s really good. Reminds me of Kate Bush. This Beatles cover is excellent!