The lofty legacy of Elliott Smith has reached rarefied air. Ever since his death on October 21, 2003, his influence has both touched the contemporaries of his era and countless new songwriters. It can be argued that only the Cobains and Bowies of the music world have managed to reach that unique pinnacle, and much like those two, Smith’s music still lives on long after his passing.
On May’s Swan Song Series, the Grammy-nominated Donelly compiled more than 30 songs from collaborations with friends, musicians, and authors like Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom), Robyn Hitchcock, Claudia Gonson (Magnetic Fields), and others. At ONCE tonight, she’ll be joined by guests that include Janovitz, Tom Gorman, Damon and Naomi, and Dave Brophy.
It’s an impressive lineup, and one that aligns nicely with the upcoming SayYes! comp, which includes Julien Baker doing a version of “Ballad Of Big Nothing” and Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls lending her take on “Pictures Of Me.” Both J Mascis and Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. join in on the fray with Mascis performing “Waltz #2” and Barlow doing “Division Day.” Juliana Hatfield also contributes a cover of “Needle In The Hay” while Waxachatchee give their portrayal of “Angeles”. Rhode Island also gets a little bit of local love on the compilation as well, as Westerly alt-rock power trio Wild Sun reboot “Easy Way Out” in their own way.
In pristine fashion, Donelly nails Smith’s haunting style on “Between The Bars”. Give it a listen at the link below, head over to ONCE tonight to see her live on stage, and gaze longingly at the incredible show poster designed by Daykamp Creative.