Watch: Justin Vernon Covers “Death Letter”

June 4, 2010

The Black Keys and the White Stripes better look out: Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon teamed up with Peter Wolf Crier drummer Brian Moen for a reunion performance of their blues-rock duo, the Shouting Matches, in Altoona, WI this past Memorial Day weekend. As Gimme Noise points out, the pair channeled Son House’s legendary “Death Letter,” a song famously covered or reinterpreted by a host of musicians over the years, including Blind Willie McTell and (the first place I heard it) on the White Stripes’ second album, De Stijl.

Fortunately, somebody captured close-up footage of Vernon and Moen’s killer take on the classic tune. Watch the Ray Ban-donning Shouting Matches sing the posthumous love blues below (stick around till the 6:10 mark for Vernon dropping to his knees for a blistering guitar freakout):

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