Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mavis Staples "Can You Get To That"

I don't know if we've ever had this happen before.

Rewind the clocks back to winter.

As mentioned a number of times before, there are very, very few new songs released from November through the middle of January.  The record industry slows down before Christmas, then shuts down for the holidays.  New albums don't start appearing until the year is well underway.

But in this period, we will want to be adding new songs to rotation, and it becomes a great opportunity to go back to songs we've missed, or add some personal favorites that we might not otherwise have room for.

The Living Sisters' cover of Funkadelic's "Can You Get To That" was one of those songs that was in my iTunes rotation, and I never wanted to clear it out.  Despite the fact that the song never gained any traction or appeared on any charts or garnered much notice, I kept it among the songs to be considered for rotation on MVY.

And one day this winter I pulled the trigger.

We got a nice response from folks who knew the original and liked the quartet's take on it.  And we got interest from people who weren't familiar with the original, but simply enjoyed the gentle groove.

It's been on the playlist for a couple of months now, and was nearing the end of its run.

Then a funny thing happened.  Mavis Staples released a cover of the same tune.

Staples much anticipated follow up to the "You Are Not Alone" album isn't due out until later this summer, but because she is again working with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, interest is high.

And what an inspired choice for a first single!

"Can You Get To That" is a great 70s groove.  A song you rarely hear today.  A nice nugget from the past.  And Mavis' version is such an inspired, refreshing choice of songs to cover.

Or, it would seem so, if you haven't been listening to MVY.

For MVY listeners, I wonder if people will hear the new Mavis version, and ask "Why are they playing a different version of the same song?"

It would have been a weird choice for the record company to release this cover, IF The Living Sisters' version had been a hit.  But, as far as I know, mvyradio is the only station in the country playing that version in regular rotation.  So this cover will be a nice surprise/recall to the 70s version, for many non-MVY listeners.  But kind of a weird choice for us.

We're going to retire The Living Sister's version, and start playing the Mavis version.  And her album "One True Vine" will be out later in the summer, and we'll likely be one of the first stations to get off the first single and go on to a second.

Hear the Mavis version on Youtube.

Hear The Living Sisters version on Youtube.

Hear the Funkadelic version on Youtube.

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