And speaking as we were on Friday of Ray Davies covers, our good friend Sal Nunziato nominated one that I had not previously heard, but once I did I absolutely had to share.
From 1999, please enjoy Leigh Harris and a heartbreakingg rendition of "Oklahoma U.S.A.," perhaps my favorite song from The Kinks' forever fabulous Muswell Hillbillies album (1971).
Harris, who has been a New Orleans fixture for ages (although she re-located to North Carolina after Katrina) most famously fronted a band called Little Queenie and the Percolators in the late 70s; I actually saw them at Kenny's Castaways back in the day, and a Google search reminded me that I actually wrote a rave review of their live act for the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review at the time, although I don't remember the piece (and don't have a copy of the 1980 issue it appeared in). In any case, Harris struck me mostly as a soul/r&b belter, and never in a million years would she have struck me as a good fit for this song. Shows what I know, because as you can hear, it's simply stunning.
Haven't heard the rest of the album it's from, but I notice that she also covers the Stones' "Backstreet Girl" on it, which sounds promising.