By James Garcia
Did anyone see this duo coming? A punk and a pianist, singer-songwriter have teamed up to cover a country-rock album.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is teaming up with Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones to do a tribute to the Everly Brothers’ “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us” (1958), the two announced on Wednesday. The tribute album will be called “Foreverly.”
“Songs Our Daddy Taught Us” was the second release from the harmony-focused country-rock duo.
While this might sound like an unusual pairing of musical talents, harmonizing is not something that is foreign to Armstrong. He was a frontrunner in the pop punk/alternative rock movement in the late ’80s, which featured more pop-friendly vocals.
“Me and (bassist) Mike (Dirnt) have always sang harmonies together, ever since the beginning of Green Day. One thing I’ve always loved is… I like being in a band or a group atmosphere, so with me and Mike, even in the earliest songs that Green Day wrote there were always two singers,” Armstrong said in an interview with Stereogum.
And Jones, who has appeared on Sesame Street and Ray Charles’ final album, had no problem with her new spiky-haired and tattooed collaborator.
“Yeah, it was just fun being open and working with someone who was so up for trying out different things — these songs are pretty straightforward and it’s a lot of the same tempos but, you know, we’re doing our own thing,” Jones said.
“Foreverly” can be preordered and is slated to be released Nov. 25 from Reprise Records. You can listen to Armstrong and Jones’ cover of the third track from the Everly Brothers’ album, “Long Time Gone” below.
“It’s always fun singing these songs, they’re so good — they’re simple, but good. And very dark,” Jones said.
James Garcia is a community reporter at the Loveland Reporter-Herald and a new blogger at Reverb.