Dean Wareham covering Purple Mountains on new David Berman tribute
Dean Wareham has contributed a cover of The Purple Mountains Snow is Falling in Manhattan for a new tribute to David Berman released on the blog Section 26 today.
Berman of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains committed suicide in August and Section 26 were inspired to get this album together at short notice…
The idea came from my friend Baptiste Fick, who taught me two decades ago how to play How To Rent a Room on a guitar. “What if we organized a tribute compilation of David Berman?” As is customary at Section 26, I responded : “Let’s do it. We’ll think about it afterwards.” The musicians we started to contact reacted the same way, with short and direct answers. We often got a modest : “I’m in, buddy!” Sometimes, we’d receive whole testimonies of an encounter, an interaction with David Berman around Jewish mysticism, or teenage memories which obviously struck a chord with Baptiste and me. Even the most legitimate refusals were encouraging.
Snow is Falling in Manhattan was originally released on the Purple Mountains album released earlier this year and Dean’s cover was mixed by Britta Phillips and is available to stream on the Section 26 site.
Just like a composite picture, these covers as a whole have profoundly changed the way we will now listen to David Berman’s songs. The performers have shown us other aspects of the musician, their own aspects, which we hadn’t even thought about. Behind each song, we can hear the voice of the artist covering it. But also, implicitly, that of the poet, reaching us differently.