Coverville – Bill Withers – Episode 974

Brian Ibbott started Coverville in 2004, making it one of the longest, consecutively-running podcasts to date. It’s The Simpsons of podcastia, and  it has a huge back catalog.

You probably know Ibbot from his co-hosting gig on the Morning Stream with Scott Johnson. But Coverville is a one-man gig as far as I can tell.

As you may’ve guessed, it’s a music podcast that covers well… covers. Basically, any established, Western-friendly musician is fair game on this show. And the bumper music is a cover of what else, but Bruce Springsteen’s “Cover Me.” Here’s how the show works: Ibbott scours the web for tribute albums. He’s been known to dedicate one of his thrice weekly episodes to one iconic song. But they typically revolve around a common theme or artist.  He then cobbles together three episodes a week.

I started off with the Bill Withers episode, number 974 to be exact. This is the second Withers show. Here’s the playlist:

Withers Coverville

Note: he didn’t play Club Nouveau’s synthesizer rich cover of “Lean on Me” and opted for Seal’s version. Classy call.

Stylistically, Ibbot has an unhurried approach that really brought me into the Withers universe, where everything’s a “lovely day. ” Sorry about that one. I suspect this prolific podcaster is always this collected, Withers or no Withers. He sounds like five different guys I went to school with–very familiar. And what he lacks in dynamism, he makes up for with solid content.

I think what I found most appealing about this show was its effortlessness.  I suspect Ibbot made as many mix tapes in the ’80s as I did on my double-deck, wood-grain Sanyo. Coverville has no overt agenda. One gets the impression he likes sharing these gems with the listener but would be just as happy doing this for an audience of none.

It’s the mellow you need after a long day. Very even keeled, but infectious nonetheless.

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