Duff McKagan, Mark Lanegan + More Recreate Outlaw Country Classic ‘The Highwayman’
We've got another stellar socially distanced all-star cover to share, and it's all in the name of a good cause. A group of Seattle-based all-stars including Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan, Mark Lanegan, Foo Fighters' Nate Mendel, Walking Papers' Jefferson Angell, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock and more joined together to recreate the outlaw country classic "The Highwayman" for radio station KEXP's 2020 SMooCH benefit for Seattle Children's Hospital.
"The Highwayman" was initially written and recorded by Jimmy Webb in 1977, then covered by Glen Campbell in 1979 but the most famous version of the track came in 1985 by a supergroup that took the name The Highwaymen as their moniker. That legendary foursome were country icons Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, who released three albums of outlaw country material before Jennings' death in 2002. Their version topped the country charts.
This cover was organized as part of KEXP's continuing show Couch Riffs, with the design in this case to get a cover from a "Seattle All-Stars" band. Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard starts the song, taking the Willie Nelson part, with Duff McKagan handling the second verse (Kristofferson's in the 1985 version). Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock takes on the Waylon Jennings verse, while Screaming Trees leader Mark Lanegan puts his deeper vocal to the test taking on Johnny Cash's final part.
The foursome are backed up on the song by Foo Fighters' Nate Mendel, Walking Papers' Jefferson Angell, Death Cab for Cutie's Jason McGerr and Dave Depper, Ian Moore and Mike Squires.
Check out the cover at the 53:40 mark in the video from the benefit below. And to learn more about the charitable efforts for the Seattle Children's Hospital, be sure to check out the SMooCH website.
2020 SMooCH Benefit for Seattle Children's Hospital
The Highwaymen, "The Highwayman"