Wondering Where The Lions Are
Bruce Cockburn’s Wondering Where The Lions Are is a classic folk/rock song, unfortunately Cockburn’s only real hit outside of Canada. The song has stuck in people’s minds subconsciously though. No one ever really mentions it, but everyone knows it. And Frankenreiter easily plays that aspect of the song. He brings out the strong melodic arrangement and emphasizes the strong lyrics with his empathic vocals and breathes new, appropriate, life in Cockburn’s classic. Very strong rendition, maybe even stronger than the original.
No one ever realizes how long Wilco has been around. They’ve been putting out albums since the mid-90s. Their song Theologians is from 2004 however and the most recent one that appears on Frankenreiter’s EP. No surprise that Frankenreiter went with a song from “A Ghost Is Born” as it is Wilco’s warmest and most organic record. I would’ve expected Wishful Thinking rather than Theologians but Donavon Frankenreiter proves me wrong as he nails this song. It doesn’t meet up with Wilco’s own version, but it comes incredibly close.
Such A Night
I’ve always thought that Dr. John was an underrated artist, but so is Donavon Frankenreiter. And both are brilliant in their musicality and this rendition of Such A Night shows how compatible the two are. Without changing too much of the song’s spirit, Donavon gives the song a little change of pace and sound by not making it a piano song but a song that’s dominated by guitar strumming. It’s not fair to compare this version to Dr. John’s because both are so different, but both are exactly the same as well. This is a great example of taking a song and making it your own without butchering the original. Wonderful job.
If there was ever a rock & roll band that made history, it was Creedence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty and the gang have written so many songs for themselves and others that hit the charts and they changed the face of rock & roll, maybe even as much as Elvis did. They maintained their gritty, energetic, powerful, youthful image and rocked all around the place. Fortunate Son, however, was as much a singer/songwriter song as a rock & roll tune, in a way that there was a real emphasis on the lyrics and harmonies. Donavon Frankenreiter picked up on this and made a folky/americana version of the song that does justice to the message in the song. But it’s hard to not miss John Fogerty’s raspy vocals and CCR’s powerful energy.
It Makes No Difference
This song sounds like a Donavon Frankenreiter song instead of a song by The Band. The song, best known for its passionate version in the Last Waltz concert documentary, is done perfectly by Frankenreiter who gets an A++ for this rendition. And I can only imagine that Robbie Robertson would agree with that. Donavon becomes one with the song and brings out the very best of the melody and of himself.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
Bob Dylan’s classic Don’t Think Twice is an ambitions song to cover. But Donavon Frankenreiter should be able to do this tastefully. A bit more bluesy and soulfully performed than Bob Dylan’s original, Frankenreiter gives a new spin to the song, in a way it makes the song more gentle. It’s not Bob Dylan, but it is one of the best covers of this song I’ve heard. The gentleness and compassion that Frankenreiter lays in this song is inspirational and very honest, which does the song justice.
With “Recycled Recipes”, Donavon Frankenreiter shows he can walk in the shoes of giants. More than once he surprises with a tasteful cover in the spirit of the original that sounds like something of his own. Frankenreiter truly is a musical lovechild of all these musical predecessors that influence him. And this is an amazing tribute from his side. “Recycled Recipies” is something every music lover should own.