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Bill Janovitz and the Cover(s) of the Week

Posted in Bill Janovitz, Bll Janovitz and Crown Victoria, Buffalo Tom, Chris Toppin, Cover of the Week, Show People on January 20th 2009 by Randy Reichardt

.: Those who have known me for years and who are aware of my musical tastes (like my brother Chris and friends Derryl and Taras) also know that one of my favorite bands at any time is Buffalo Tom of Boston.  I first heard Buff Tom when I bought the No Alternative album in the early 90s.  The song “For All To See” is on that record, and when I heard it for the first time, I was hooked on BT for life.  I had to hear more, and have been a loyal fan ever since that first listening.

Bill Janovitz is the guitarist and “El Capitan” of BT.  In addition to the BT catalogue, he has also released two solo albums, an album called Fireworks on TV with his group, Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria, and an album with Chris Toppin under the name Show People.  The entire body of his work to date is a creative and unique mix of sounds and styles and always feels like the real thing – raw, honest music from the heart, tunes that get stuck in your head for days.

I mention all of this because I want to direct your attention to Bill’s blog, The Life and Times of Bill Janovitz, Part Time Man of Rock, and his new and ongoing project, Cover of the Week, in which Bill has been recording some of his favorite cover tunes and posting them to his site for his fans to enjoy and download.  In the first CotW, posted on 29 November 2008, Bill writes:

“I am undertaking an ambitious task, that is to record a cover song every week and offer it up here for your enjoyment, criticism, suggestions, tears, or laughter. I just feel like covering some of my favorite songs. The idea is an informal little pastime. I will not be fussing around with these. I just want to post some songs that I sit around the house playing.”

Whether or not you are aware of Bill and his many musical projects, please take the time to check out his Cover(s) of the Week.  Each tune is downloadable from his site, and as he adds more, he is creating a new and unique set of songs for those his of fans fortunate enough to have found his blog!  This is a rare treat from a creative bandleader and songwriter whose musical talents and work ethic I respect and admire greatly and try to emulate in my own musical life.  What he is doing is also inspring.  As an added bonus, each song is usually accompanied by an articulate and very interesting back story.

So thanks Bill, and to my friends who read this blog, please check Bill’s site and listen to his readings from a very interesting and expanding set of great cover tunes.  Oh, and my favorite CotW so far is #5, Bill’s version of In A Misty Morning, from Gene Clark‘s second solo album, Roadmaster.  Clark was one of the founding members of The Byrds.