PREMIERE: Futurebirds Take on Vic Chesnutt’s “Dodge” for Pickathon’s Slab Sessions

The latest from the Oregon festival's 2016–2017 season.

Futurebirds lurched out of Athens back in 2009 playing a scratchy, weathered brand of country rock. Their three full-lengths and pair of EPs are boozy, soulful things, the kind of music that’s as much a part of the architecture of the artsy South as front porches and gables—they’re ready to fight, but they’ve also got wounds to lick.

It makes a certain kind of poetic sense, then, that they’d pay tribute to fellow Athenian Vic Chesnutt, the beloved singer-songwriter who died on Christmas of 2009 from an overdose of muscle relaxants. There is not a single Southern cliché that Chesnutt’s music doesn’t interrogate—religion, death, decay, depression—and manage to enliven.

Futurebirds released a version of “Dodge,” from Chesnutt’s 1993 album Drunk, on their Portico EP back in November, and last summer they brought their stately cover to Pickathon for their installment of the Slab Sessions. Their reverent hands steady Chesnutt’s shaky composition, giving it just enough polish to have you thinking of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris without losing the pain at the center of the original. It’s a touching take captured by the talented folks at Half Stop Sessions, and one that we’re proud to premiere as part of Pickathon’s 2016–2017 season. Check it out below.

Check out the rest of the videos in the Slab Sessions here.

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