Monday, June 8, 2020

8 June 2020 - Kelly Willis - Little Honey

When I was a student at St. Bonaventure University, I was a college radio DJ.  I was on late night and played what was known at the time as "alternative" or "New wave" music.  It was typical college/indie music of the period.

As you know from my two blogs 1) this is where and how I met my former co-writer, Scott Colvin, and 2) I am a fan of somewhat guilty pleasure music, so I pushed the envelope of definition of that format, which was mostly met positively.

Coincidentally, I discovered an alt-county artist named Kelly Willis.  At the time, MCA Records was trying to sell her as some sexpot artist - but she was - IS - much more than that.

Take this cover of Dave Alvin's "Little Honey", which originally appeared on the soundtrack to the motion picture Thelma and Louise.  Her huge emotive voice brings a different, angrier and yet still heartbroken feeling to the song. This is a live performance from 2016, 25 years after the original version was released.

I closed almost every show I did on WSBU from 1991 on with this song.  Was it an odd choice for someone who regularly played rock, new-wave, and punk music?  Maybe.  I didn't care.  It's a beautiful song, and alternative is alternative, be it rock or country.  It resonated with me and had a good end-of-show feel. 

So, this is the last song I played as a college radio DJ.  So, for that reason and so many more, it retains a lot of personal feeling for me to this day.

Here's the studio version of the song.  It was as fantastic then as it is today, almost three decades later.

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