“The sun is gonna burn into a cinder/before we ever pass this way again”

Cat Power – “Silver Stallion” from Jukebox [2008]
The Highwaymen – “Silver Stallion” from Highwayman 2 [1990]
Lee Clayton – “Silver Stallion” from Border Affair [1978]

Here we have three versions of the same song by three different artists. The three versions of the song are all very different and as such, elicit very different moods. Clayton’s electric guitar-drenched original sounds almost triumphant, while The Highwaymen do a pretty straightforward country rendition. My personal favorite is the most recent version, sung by the nonpareil Cat Power (real name Chan Marshall). Ms. Power’s version evokes the sadness of the classic ramblin’ song. Her voice sounds as if she’s spent a few too many late nights drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes, and she woke up early one morning singing this song with a sleepy, hungover resolve to make a change in her life.

I have a thing for female singers with smoky voices, and Ms. Power is my current favorite. I discovered her just recently, after seeing her eccentric, mesmerizing performance on Letterman. Shortly after watching that performance several times over (thanks to TiVo) I picked up her Jukebox album, which is a curious collection of covers ranging from “Silver Stallion” to Kander and Ebb’s “New York, New York” to Dylan’s “I Believe in You” along with a few of Ms. Power’s own songs, including a great re-working of “Metal Heart” from her 1998 album Moon Pix.

Ms. Power has a penchant for doing a lot of odd covers and making them all her own. Jukebox is her second covers album, the first being 2000’s aptly titled The Covers Record. In addition to having a terribly sexy voice, Ms. Power has a pretty interesting story as well. This 2006 New York Times article (in addition to this blog post, of course) offers a nice introduction to the world of Cat Power.

Despite a cleverly deceptive opening paragraph, this post is really about how great Cat Power is.

Posted By Adam



Filed under 1970s, 1990s, 2000s, Country

8 responses to ““The sun is gonna burn into a cinder/before we ever pass this way again”

  1. Adam, if you’re tagging posts “Sexy Female Vocalists” then I am eagerly awaiting your Regina Spektor post.

  2. Phil

    Blake, that Regina Spektor tag isn’t “sexy female vocalists.” I think it’s going to be “lucky Russian debutantes.”

  3. Jordy

    I don’t really like any female artists. Does that make me a chauvinist?

  4. Jordy, in not so many words, yes. But there’s still hope. I used to not like any female artists either; I don’t remember what or who changed my mind, but I like a lot of them now. I’ll post some more in the future.

    But a lot of the female artists I like are the ones whose voices are dripping with sexuality, so that probably makes me a chauvinist.

  5. Pingback: Cat Power – Moon Pix « So Well Remembered

  6. “The sun is gonna burn into a cinder/before we ever pass this way again” | So Well Remembered I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You are incredible! Thanks! your article about “The sun is gonna burn into a cinder/before we ever pass this way again” | So Well Remembered Best Regards Agata Schaad

  7. Eric

    The Highway man version is not straight Forward its fucking legendary

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