It is always fun for me to see and hear what artists do with songs from other artists they really enjoy. As with Amber Rubarth's ode to Tom Waits with her cover of "Ol' 55", Amy LaVere pays homage to an artist she admires with a cover of Michelle Shocked's "If Love Was A Train." Sometimes these covers come out great, and others not so much. Amber and Amy clearly fall into the former category.
Different artists take different approaches to cover songs. Some do a very faithful rendition that sticks close to the original version. Others change it up considerably. On her take on "If Love Was a Train," Amy puts her own spin on the tune. Indeed, she even leaves out a verse she doesn't like. But, she does so respectfully and you can tell from how she speaks about Shocked that she's a fan. Both artists have a rootsy Americana influence in their respective approaches to the song and their music generally.
While Amy an Americana music favorite – she was nominated for Best New or Emerging Artist at the 2007 Americana Music Association Awards – it's not a label she wants as the sole description of her music. Amy wants her group to be a known simply as a rockband. She's clearly grateful of the bounce her career's gotten from the Americana niche, but is looking to break out. Amy and her band do rock out a bit on "If Love Was a Train" and it's something we'll likely see on other material as they evolve. Check it out: