Even the most beloved of traditions evolve over time - heck, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade went off-Broadway this
year for the first time in 80 years - so for KDUR to tweak its most popular event after a mere eight years shouldn't
raise too many eyebrows right?
KDUR's 14th Cover Night (it wouldn't be accurate to call it annual" because it started in 2001) is a shift from the
radio station's typical format. Instead of a bunch of local bands each taking on versions of a particular artist, this time the 12 musical acts will alternate between the music of Credence Clearwater Revival and Guns 'n' Roses.
There's supposed to be a winner by evening's end, but even KDUR's station manager and Cover Night emcee Bryant
Liggett isn't sure how it's all going to play out.
I'm not sure of the format," Liggett said in a group interview that also included former KDUR Program Director Jason
Repko and Lawn Chair Kings frontman Erik Nordstrom. Repko and Nordstrom coordinated the first Cover Night in 2001
when local musicians paid tribute to Neil Diamond. Repko now lives in Austin, Texas, but Nordstrom has remained the
driving force behind every Cover Night since.
I always thought it would be a great idea to pit bands against each other," Nordstrom said. When I was a kid, I
used to ask my parents thoughtful questions that were irritating, like 'if a shark and a lion got into a fight who
would win?' Or, if an eagle and a leopard got into a fight' - so this brings it into the music sphere."
In addition to the Lawn Chair Kings, Cover Night bands this time include Jaki & The Joysticks, Redeyed Jinn, The
Boycotts, Wild Mountain and several conglomerations of musicians assembled just for the evening like Split Lip
Rayfield, Willie and the Poor Boys and Appetite for Some Chicken. There are rock bands, punk bands, bluegrass bands
and some that defy description, and it makes for an interesting mix.
Artists previously covered include Diamond, Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Kiss, One-Hit Wonders," The Rolling
Stones, David Bowie, The Ramones, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, The Who and The Clash. Each local act has its own
interpretation of the featured artist.
We never play the songs like they were originally done," said Tracy Ford, lead singer of Jaki & The Joysticks.
The band's set will include a punk version of CCR's Down on the Corner" and a Ska version of I Heard it Through the
Grapevine," as well as a more accurate rendition of Guns 'n' Roses' Welcome to the Jungle." It's the Joystick's
fifth appearance at Cover Night.
There's only one reason we do it: We do it for KDUR," Ford said. I don't even like CCR or G and R, but it has
nothing to do with who we're covering. (KDUR) is a great radio station that supports local music. It's also tons of
fun and the best turnout for any show for the bands. The Summit gets totally packed, and it's a great night."