It says a lot about the level of musicianship in Philadelphia that two multimedia projects with local songwriters covering the songs of their peers can operate side-by-side without much overlap.
The third installment of the Cover Club series from the Root Down in the Shadow gang features singer-songwriter Chelsea Mitchell tackling “Fine Quality (Coffee Flour Sugar Tea),” a delicate love song from The Lawsuits’ Numbers EP. Root Down curator Dan McGurk worries the song will get lost in the wake of the success of the band’s Cool Cool Cool LP, and says Mitchell gives it new life.
“She quickly leaves the sad softness of the song behind,” McGurk writes, “and lets her powerful vocals take over. Chelsea adds boldness where [The Lawsuits'] Brian Strouse went to a whisper.” Watch the video of Mitchell’s cover below.
A somewhat longer-running operation is Philly Sings Philly, a project dating back to 2009 with dual home bases of Northern Liberties concert venue The Fire and South Philly recording outfit Turtle Studios. Local artists go to Turtle to lay down renditions of their favorite tracks by other Philadelphians (listen to Sean Hoots’ rendition of mewithoutYou’s “Aubergine” here), and then perform at a weekly showcase each November at The Fire.
Tonight is the last showcase for the Philly Sings Philly 2013 season, featuring Andrew Lipke, Up the Chain, Mason Porter and more. Details on the show can be found here. To coincide with it, the final Philly Sings Philly cover track of 2013 was released this week. Listen to Sonja Sofya singing David Cope’s “To A Dreamer” below.