Song Of The Day: Dean Wareham & Cheval Sombre, “Wand’rin’ Star”

Dean Wareham is the rare musician who is as adept at arranging cover songs as he is writing his own wonderful original material. Whenever he offers up a cover, I will definitely check it out, as he rarely disappoints. His new solo album, Dean Wareham Vs. Cheval Sombre,  is a collaboration with guitarist Cheval Sombre, and together the duo explore songs of a distinctly Western flavor. The scope of their covers range from traditional cowboy tunes to more modern outlaw country singer-songwriter fare, as well as a few songs taken from Western movies. The album is nothing short of a hazy, slightly stoned and psychedelic road trip through the desert, my favorite number has to be there take on “Wand’rin’ Star,” the Lerner/Loewe composition from the musical Paint Your Wagon, which was  bizarrely proved to be a massive hit for the distinctively non-singer Lee Marvin, and which kept the Beatles‘ “Let It Be” from being their final number one single. Thankfully, Wareham doesn’t sing it with a croak like Marvin did; instead, he transforms it into a trippy little lullaby that is absolutely dreamy; if anything, it sounds like a Mercury Rev b-side. In other words, “Wand’rin’ Star” is a lovely little jewel from a wonderfully talented musician.

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