Festival gigs tend to better fit rock bands and insanely anticipated reunion events the most, but every now and then a low-key set resonates with the restless, sweaty throngs. At this weekend’s Bonnaroo Festival, singer/songwriter/Ryan Adams collaborator Norah Jones stole the massive Tennessee crowd’s attention by employing her distinguished vocal talents for a 19-song set of singles, covers, and other recognizable tunes.
Sure, the Kinks’ “Strangers” might be too well written to screw up, but add Neil Young’s Zuma track “Barstool Blues,” Johnny Cash’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” and “Bull Rider” (by way of Rodney Crowell) to the mix and I’d say Jones could whip up a notable cover rendition of just about anything. Say what you will about Ravi Shankar’s daughter, she knows how to play to her strengths.
Watch Jones and her band cover the Kinks, as well as a clip from her Neil Young cover in Brooklyn last week, below. If you’d prefer the full context of Saturday’s set, however, stream the whole thing at NPR right now.