In many ways an acoustic cover is the real test of a song, letting you see whether melody, chords, and lyrics hold up, or whether the original is just coasting on production and performer charisma. (I once persuaded someone of the merits of "I Want It That Way" by playing the Postmodern Jukebox version. By contrast, there are any number of pop hits that I haven't added to my solo set because they turn out to be pretty boring without a big synth surge.)
This past weekend the band had a recording session that consisted mostly of cover songs (and one original so similar to early Dylan structures that it might as well be a cover). I think one definitely worked, a take of the Paul Westerberg/Grandpaboy ballad "Lush and Green" with Charlie on the lead vocal and a lot of harmonies layered in. I'm less convinced about another—still waiting to see how it sounds with a few added tracks. The treatment I initially planned didn't work, and we went in a few goofball directions from there. But these experiments are useful, even if we wind up scrapping the song. It's a nice break to work on songs that aren't mine, especially as I wrestle with the last holdout songs of Posthistoric, some of which have been in the draft stage for a couple of years. Plus, every recording session is an excuse for pie (peach rhubarb this week, not my best work, frankly, but still pie) and hanging out with Charlie and Julie's cats.
We also determined that—if we ever do chuck it all and become an all-cover act—we can play as The Imposter Syndrome. It can join The Pretenderers, Meatwood Flack, Prince and the Lauper, and the rest of the names we probably won't use.