Ring of Fire –  Alias Wayne (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If the soft and smokey, soulful rootsy blends seem familiar then you might be interested to know that you find none other than Ranzel X Kendrick front and centre on this cover. And like all covers it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it…that is, there is no point just faithfully reproducing a well-known song, better to bring something new to the table, inject a bit of your own personality into it. And that is exactly what Alias Wayne does here.

There can’t be many songs better known or universally loved as the man in black’s Ring of Fire, but where as most people tackling it aim for the same strident, brooding tones that was his hallmark, here we are treated to something smoother, more laidback, something injected with a jazzy, lounge-bar feel. Less possessed and demonic, more chilled and reflective. And that, after all is the art. Why copy the song too closely? Do you think you can actually improve on such an iconic song? Of course not and Alias Wayne pays perfect tribute to the song…I especially love those twanging, cascading progressions that pop up like a knowing nod of thanks…and do so by giving it a new sonic framework to exist in.

If you are going to cover a song, this is exactly the way to approach it, why don’t more people get that?

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