A cover that mat­ters

Mon­a­hans’ Van­der­pool talks about Plant’s cover on his fa­vorite song from Mil­ton Mapes’ de­but

Austin American-Statesman - - MUSIC - By Pa­trick Cald­well Amer­i­can-States­man Mu­sic Writer

Sev­eral years ago, Austin mu­si­cian Greg Van­der­pool — at the time sling­ing gui­tar and sing­ing for lo­cally born coun­try-folk crafters Mil­ton Mapes — bumped into Robert Plant in a Nashville air­port. Van­der­pool, a life­long fan of Led Zep­pelin and Plant’s solo work, stole a few min­utes with the rock leg­end, never men­tion­ing that he him­self was a work­ing mu­si­cian.

On Sept. 14, Plant will re­lease ‘Band of Joy,’ his first solo al­bum since 2007’s Gram­my­win­ning ‘Rais­ing Sand.’ Repris­ing the name of Plant’s first band — a band which also in­cluded fu­ture Led Zep­pelin drum­mer John Bon­ham — the al­bum and ac­com­pa­ny­ing tour unites a cast of mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Dar­rell Scott and Austin’s Patty Grif­fin. And it was pro­duced by Nashville icon Buddy Miller — who mas­tered Mil­ton Mapes seven-song 2001 de­but, ‘The State Line.’

The cu­ri­ous thing is this, nei­ther of those un­likely con­nec­tions be­tween Van­der­pool and Plant had any­thing to do with Plant cov­er­ing Mil­ton Mapes’ ‘The Only Sound That Mat­ters’ on the new record — and, prob­a­bly, at Mon­day’s sold-out show at Stubb’s.

‘Work­ing with Buddy and meet­ing Robert at the air­port and hav­ing nei­ther of those things hav­ing any­thing to do with how the song ended up on the record … that’s pretty strange,’ Van­der­pool says.

In­stead, Plant chose to cover the song — one of an ar­ray of cov­ers that ap­pear on ‘Band of Joy,’ in­clud­ing num­bers from Los Lo­bos, Low, and the Kelly Broth­ers — af­ter it was rec­om­mended to him by a friend. Van­der­pool learned of the ad­di­tion af­ter re­ceiv­ing a phone call from a mu­sic pub­lisher and — cyn­i­cal that it might not be true — ver­i­fy­ing the news with Miller. Van­der­pool first heard Plant’s ver­sion last week — and the re­sults, he says, are strik­ing.

‘It’s pretty sur­real to hear any­one else play­ing your song, but there was an ex­tra layer of goose­bumps lis­ten­ing to Robert Plant sing­ing it,’ Van­der­pool says. ‘It’s re­ally an honor for some­one who you’ve grown up lis­ten­ing to to take the time to record your song. As a song­writer, that’s one of the high­est hon­ors you can re­ceive.’

Van­der­pool’s cur­rent project, the ‘land­scape rock’ quar­tet Mon­a­hans — born in 2006 and fea­tur­ing for­mer Mil­ton Mapes band­mate Roberto Sanchez and long­time Spoon bassist Joshua Zarbo — will play a show mere days af­ter Plant at the Club De Ville on July 30, across the street from Stubb’s. They re­leased ‘We Trem­ble’ on Tues­day, the lat­est in a 10-song project that’s see­ing the band re­lease one track for down­load ev­ery month through the end of the year. While Van­der­pool might have moved on from his Mil­ton Mapes days, he still holds the song cov­ered by Plant in the fond­est re­gard.

‘It’s prob­a­bly my fa­vorite song from that Mil­ton Mapes record,’ says Van­der­pool. ‘Of all the songs, I’m re­ally glad it was that one.’

The Mon­a­hans have been re­leas­ing one track a month for fans to down­load for free on the band’s web­site. This month’s song is ‘We Trem­ble.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.