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PREMIERE: Superhuman Happiness Cover "Long Black Veil" for 'Wall to Wall Johnny Cash' at Symphony Space

By Logan K. Young l.young@classicalite.com on Apr 25, 2015 02:50 AM EDT

We've heard a lot of takes on Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin's 1959 quasi-murder ballad "Long Black Veil." True, while not every rendition hence faithfully exonerated Lefty Frizzell's original--itself deliberately more Nashville countrypolitan than Texan honky tonk--there have been fewer still that still stand on their own. For every versatile Burl Ives, The Band's big, pink one or even Diamanda Galás' most, um, unidiomatic reading, there are too many uninspired dronings on from the likes of The Proclaimers, Bruce Hornsby, Daves both Matthews and Gray and, alas, Marianne Faithfull.

This latest dubby addition to the cover canon comes courtesy of the all-purpose Brooklyn combo Superhuman Happiness; yes, it belongs square-wavely in the camp of the former.

A blissed-out narcotic of leader Stuart Bogie's falsetto and the chest voice of Andrea Diaz, if you ever went to Zebulon on Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg, then you know all too well how these two blend together. Not surprisingly for a band so close to TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek (literally, his Stay Gold studio was once just down the block from where Zebulon used to be), it's the production here--sparse but studied, peculiar yet particularly macabre--that highlights the resignation so many priors just didn't understand.

A cold, dark night of the soul, indeed, listen below to Classicalite's premiere of Superhuman Happiness doing "Long Black Veil" (courtesy of Kevin Calabro's Royal Potato Family)... 

OK, but what's the reason for this treason? But of course, it's the man in black, himself, John R. Cash.

Perhaps more so than anyone else now, "Long Black Veil" remains a Johnny Cash song. To wit, Superhuman Happiness is just one of the many fine ensembles on the bill for the two-part Wall to Wall Johnny Cash bonanza this Saturday (April 25) at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharpe Theater:

LOVE & DEATH (4-7:30 p.m.) Perhaps Cash's two greatest tropes, featuring songs like "Ring of Fire," "Sunday Morning Coming Down," "Delia's Gone," "Ain't No Grave," etc.

PRISON & THE MAN IN GRASS (7:30-11 p.m.) Bad deeds and hard times, including a full set from At Folsom Prison, as performed by Superhuman Hapiness.

General admission is free, but just like lunch at Folsom, seating is first-come, first-served.

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TagsEXCLUSIVE, Premiere, Superhuman Happiness, Long Black Veil, Johnny Cash, Symphony Space, Royal Potato Family