Music

Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell Cover Bon Iver, Derek and the Dominos

Amanda Shires has been hosting the livestream series Iso Lounging, often with her husband, Jason Isbell, from their home outside Nashville during quarantine. (Having a stained-glass backdrop at your disposal is pretty convenient if you’re a musician who wants to stage cool-looking shows in lockdown.) This past weekend, the couple brought on keyboardist Peter Levin for a series of covers, specifically ones with women’s names in the titles: Richard Buckner’s “Ariel Ramirez,” Bon Iver’s “Beth/Rest,” and Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla.”

Shires admitted, when introducing the 1998 track by her friend Buckner, that the “Ariel” in the title was named after a male Argentine composer, but she was willing to make the stretch. They also go through “Beth/Rest” twice so that Isbell can get Justin Vernon’s immaculate falsetto just right. “Ariel Ramirez” is at 7:41, “Beth/Rest” is at 15:48 (and again at 17:57), and “Layla” is at 31:40.

Isbell recently released the album Reunions with his band the 400 Unit, of which Shires is a member. Last month, the two kicked off Literary Hub’s new video-performance series in support of Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year. Shires and Isbell performed three songs from Shires’ 2018 album To the Sunset.

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