David M. McLean presents...

Monday Classic Covers

Well it may not be exactly on a Monday, but each week the founder of the SDML Academy of Guitar, David M. McLean (http://www.skinnydevil.netshares incredible covers of classic songs from over 150 years of musical eras.


David's takes on these songs are raw, unedited and are sure to entertain and please. Share as you like, and please consider leaving David a tip, or becoming a supporter of his on Patreon.

"The great moments of our life are at the points when we gain courage to re-baptise our badness as the best in us."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Jan 14, 2019

"I Can't Stand the Rain" Ann Peebles

The 1973 Ann Peebles classic (remade in '80s by Tina Turner & also covered by Seal, Albert King, Alannah Myles, etc). This one has been in my set for at least 2 decades mostly because its so damn fun!

Jan 28, 2019

"Little Wing" Jimi Hendrix

Next installment of Monday Classic Covers...despite a long weekend with the Lexi Music Awards, 2 hours of sleep, and every reason (except one that matters) to wait...haha

Feb 11, 2019

"The Times They Are a Changin'" by Bob Dylan

Our MONDAY CLASSIC COVERS series.....Dylan by request!

Feb 25, 2019

"Long Black Veil" Lefty Frizzell

The classic country song......requested by Lance Landreth and others!

Mar 5, 2019

"Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke

Recorded in March of 1959 (making it almost exactly 60 years old as I upload this video), and written by Sam along with Lou Adler & Herb Alpert, the song went to #12 on the charts....and has since been covered by everyone from Hermans Hermits to Art Garfunkle (w/ James Taylor & Paul Simon) to Johnny Nash and more, as well as in numerous movies, commercials, and such. An absolutely gorgeous song that's been in my performance songbook for over 20 years. Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed playing! My article about Sam at Skinny Devil Magazine: https://skinnydevilmagazine.blogspot.com/2019/04/sam-cooke.html

Mar 11, 2019

"Black Betty" Leadbelly

Leadbelly re-work of an old folk song (round11668). Highly disputed meanings and origins, but Leadbelly sure can make a song! Many covers, from Ram Jam to Tom Jones to Odetta to Spiderbait to Larkin Poe....to my little carried away version here with my Hutchens custom Cigar Box Guitar.

Mar 25, 2019

"Run Around Sue" Dion

This fabulous song was released in 1961 and went to number ONE in the US. It was followed by "The Wanderer"...another great song! Leif Garrett had a top 20 hit with it in 1977, and many others covered it also. Remember "Eddie and the Cruisers"?

Apr 4, 2019

"Sympathy for the Devil" Rolling Stones

By request....incredible song by the Stones from 1968 (and landed on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list at #32). Covered by everyone from G-n-R to Blood, Sweat, & Tears to Motorhead to Janes Addiction. I hope y'all enjoy my little version!

Apr 15, 2019

"Hound Dog" - Skinny Devil cover

This was sooo much fun....a spin on Jimi's spin on Elvis' version of the rock-n-roll classic! "Hound Dog" is a twelve-bar blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Recorded originally by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in 1952, again by Elvis in 1956 (his version is #19 on Rolling Stones "500 Greatest Songs" list). Jimi Hendrix did a few versions, and I took this from an acoustic version of his but kept the Elvis lyrics.

Apr 19, 2019

"Purple Haze" Jimi Hendrix

Classic Jimi song released (in US) in 1967 and features iconic riff and the infamous "Hendrix Chord" (E7b9). A Grammy Hall of Fame song, it is included on multiple "best of..." lists, from Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs" to Q Magazine's "Guitar Songs" list. I've taken rather obvious stylistic liberties - hope you enjoy!

Apr 25, 2019

"Lean On Me" Bill Withers

1972 classic from the amazing Bill Withers. Went to #1 on the charts in '72 and top 10 in 1986 (coinciding with the movie). Number 208 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and one of only nine songs to have reached #1 in the US Charts with versions recorded by two different artists. Hope y'all dig both this version and my piano version.

Jan 7, 2019

"Dock of the Bay" Otis Redding

Cover of Otis Redding/Steve Cropper classic....released in 1968 and became the first ever posthumous #1 hit (followed by "Me & Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin). Otis wrote the first verse a few weeks after performing at Monterey Pop Festival on a houseboat in CA. Cropper helped finish the lyrics and chordal support for the melody, and a classic was born.

May 6, 2019

"Thieves in the Temple" - Skinny Devil cover

Amazing song from Prince's 1990 album "Graffiti Bridge" that was a top 40 hit in 10 countries (top 10 in six of them) and remarkable covers by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Renee Geyer, and others, and even sampled for a duet with Eddie Murphy & Michael Jackson. Herbie effectively nominated it as a new "standard", so I offer this version up in that spirit. The groove and harmonica inspired me to take an old school blues-rock acoustic approach. Hope y'all dig it!!

May 9, 2019

"Suzy Q" Hawkins/CCR

Originally a Dale Hawkins song from 1957 (with James Burton on guitar) it was remade several times, including the hugely famous version by CCR from 1968, which went to #11 in the US. The original version is ranked one of the 500 songs that shaped rock-n-roll by the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Other covers include Boby McFerrin and The Rolling Stones. I had a blast jamming on this one! Bit of a deviation from other versions, but it sure was fun! Dedicated to Kathy & Chopper, who suggested CCR!

May 15, 2019

"A Change is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke

My second Sam Cooke song in this series....beautiful song by Sam Cooke. Hope I did it half as well as the original! Here's my article about Sam (complete with info about this song): https://skinnydevilmagazine.blogspot.com/2019/04/sam-cooke.html

May 27, 2019

"Come Together" Beatles

Lead track from the 1969 album "Abbey Road", #1 in UK and #4 in US, this fabulous piece was primarily written by Lennon with his friend Timothy Leary in mind and borrowed beavily from Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me". Ike & Tina released a version a year later, Aerosmith covered the song in 1978 for the movie "Sgt. Pepper's" (and also on their "Live Bootleg" album), and Michael Jackson in 1995 for his "HIStory" album. Other amazing covers also exist, from Bobby McFerrin to Marcus Miller to Soundgarden to Gary Clark jr! Hope you enjoy my little entry into the fray!

Jun 10, 2019

"Sweet Melissa" ABB

Gorgeous song by the Allman Brothers, written by Greg in 1967 but not released until ABB's 3rd album (Eat a Peach) in 1972. The actual song title is simply "Melissa", but only hardcore ABB fans know that (haha), as even radio DJs often call it "Sweet Melissa". This cover was *heavily* requested, and this video is only the 2nd time I've performed the song (the 1st at a weekend gig in Lexington before a small audience).

Jun 24, 2019

"Stand By Me" Ben E King

This King classic has been recorded over 400 times....from King's 1961 original to covers by John Lennon (1975) to Gilley's 1980 "Urban Cowboy" offering to the 1985 Maurice White (Earth, Wind, & Fire) version to the very recent Playing For a Change release.

Jul 15, 2019

"Ain't No Sunshine" Bill Withers

Bill Withers wrote the song after seeing "Days of Wine and Roses", and it was released as his first single in 1971....and shot up to number 3 on the charts, instantly making his career. It won a Grammy for best R&B song in 1972, has been covered by a diverse range of artists (Michael Jackson to BLS to Nancy Sinatra to DMX), and is ranked #285 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs" list. I've been performing it for years and it never comes out the same way twice!

Jul 22, 2019

"Heart Attack and Vine" Tom Waits

Title track from Tom's 6th album (1980). Not sure when I first heard this song, but assume it was around when my buddy Glenn turned me onto his 1985 release "Rain Dogs". Nothing has been the same since....

Aug 5, 2019

"I Am the Highway" Audioslave

Amazing song by Audioslave, released 2003 (the fourth single from their 2002 debut album)....and one of my personal favorites. WAY out of my comfort zone....but presented warts and all in hopes of entertaining and inspiring (now YOU go crush your comfort zone!). Dedicated to Audioslave & Soundgarden vocalist & guitarist Chris Cornell, who left us far too soon.

Aug 19, 2019

"Jamaica Farewell" Harry Belafonte

Beautiful calypso piece from the first album in history to sell 1 million units! Harry Belafonte is an inspiration on sooo many levels.....

Jan 21, 2019

"Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz

Cover of Lenny's AMAZING song on my Cigar Box Guitar (made by Eric Hutchens).....hear that Marshall 'verb? Yeesss......

Feb 4, 2019

"My Girl" by Temptations

The Monday Classic Covers series.....gorgeous song from an incredible band!

Feb 18, 2019

"Spoonful" Howlin' Wolf

Willie Dixon penned song first recorded by Howlin' Wolf, & later by countless others including Etta James, Cream, and more.

Mar 4, 2019

"Wayfaring Stranger" - Skinny Devil cover

Old, old folk song.....hundreds of versions, from Johnny Cash to Burl Ives to Joan Baez to Peter Yarrow to Neko Case....and also on my last album, "Public Domain".

Mar 6, 2019

"Eyes Without a Face" Billy Idol

Released 35 years ago this year as the 2nd single from Billy's 2nd album "Rebel Yell", it peaked at #2 in the US (with "Hot in the City" the B side). Billy wrote the song with guitar wizard Steve Stevens, with production credit to Keith Forsey. It charted in 14 countries, and helped propel the album to multi-platinum status, which made Idol a superstar. Its been covered by artist as diverse as Trent Reznor and Paul Anka....and I had a blast doing it!

Mar 19, 2019

"Cream" Prince

Amazingly cool song from his 1991 album "Diamonds & Pearls", the song went to number one for 2 weeks, and was performed also for his 2004 unplugged set. I had the honor of performing this at TWO Prince tribute shows and didn't have to sing a single word (though I did anyway - haha!). My piece on the loss of Prince: https://skinnydevilmagazine.blogspot.com/2016/05/cultural-icons-2-purple-hole-in-our.html

Apr 1, 2019

"Its Only Make Believe" Conway Twitty

Fantastic and, for me, vocally difficult song from 1959....really a beautiful song when done right!

Apr 9, 2019

"Preachin' Blues" Son House

Old song done by masters like Son House and Robert Johnson, and more recently by artists like Rory Block....but Eddy sent me an incredible version by Larkin Poe, which found me again altering my approach to this amazing song.

Apr 19, 2019

"Preachin' Blues" v2 - Skinny Devil cover

SECOND version. Old song done by masters like Son House and Robert Johnson, and more recently by artists like Rory Block....but Eddy sent me an incredible version by Larkin Poe, which found me again altering my approach to this amazing song.

Apr 22, 2019

"When the Levee Breaks" - Skinny Devil cover

Originally by Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy (1929) about the Great Mississippi Flood 2 years earlier, re-worked by Led Zeppelin in 1971 for their 4th album. I was a big fan of the song but got crushed by John Campbell's 1993 version (released not long before his death). Covered by dozens of others, from Alison Kraus to Ben Harper...all of them fabulous. I hope you enjoy my version, too!

Apr 25, 2019

"Lean On Me" v2 - Skinny Devil cover

1972 classic from the amazing Bill Withers. Went to #1 on the charts in '72 and top 10 in 1986 (coinciding with the movie). Number 208 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and one of only nine songs to have reached #1 in the US Charts with versions recorded by two different artists. Hope y'all dig both this version and my guitar version.

May 1, 2019

"In Your Eyes" Peter Gabriel

Another by request....this gorgeous song was first released in 1986 on PG's 5th album "So". Its been covered fabulously by various artist, from Jeffrey Gaines to Ben Harper, and though its outside my wheelhouse, I love the song so when Lana asked for it, I was happy to try. I played it live with no rehearsal Friday (not a new strategy for me - haha!) and this recording is only the 2nd time I've played it start to finish. So here it is, warts and all.....

May 8, 2019

"See Me Now" Alice Cooper

Absolutely gorgeous song written by Alice Cooper, Bernie Taupin, and Dick Wagner, released on Cooper’s 4th solo album, "From the Inside" (1978). As lead single from the album, it reached #12 on the charts in the US & charted in 6 countries. I still think its one of Cooper's best albums, and this song displays Wagner's sense of chordal beauty and the key change to the chorus is elegant & moving. I hope I did it justice!

May 13, 2019

"Hurt" Trent Rezner (Johnny Cash)

From the 1994 NIN album "Downward Spiral", released as a single in '95 and hit #8 on charts and grabbed Grammy nomination....Johnny Cash cover released in 2002 to #33 on charts and multi-nomination & multi-award winning (Grammy, CMA, MTV, etc).... I'm going after a darker Reznor-esque feel (note the added #11 on the Am, vocal register shift, & such), and might also do a guitar version later if y'all dig it.

May 20, 2019

"Sharp Dressed Man" ZZ Top

Amazing song from ZZ's 1983 album "Eliminator" that ruled the MTV airwaves for a big chunk of time with more cool than most of us can handle! Hit song in multiple countries, including #8 in the US, and part of their "fantasy" viideo trilogy. I take multiple liberties but tried to quote some Billy Gibbons throughout. Hope y'all dig it!!

Jun 3, 2019

"Summertime Blues" Eddie Cochran

Peaked at #8 on the charts and covered by artists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, T Rex, Alan Jackson, Rush, Brian Setzer, Blue Cheer, and the Who, this classic 1958 song is a staple "summer song", was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, is #73 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest" list, and much more. Tragically, Cochran died just 2 years later in a car crash at only 21 years old, but his music continues on and Cochran was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Jun 17, 2019

"War Pigs" Black Sabbath

The lead track from the now classic 2nd album, "Paranoid" (which also feature "Iron Man", "Fairies Wear Boots", and the title track), this is among the most played and best known songs by Black Sabbath. Released in 1970, the songs has received countless accolades, was included on "Guitar Hero", and has been covered by such wide array of artists as Arctic Monkeys, Gov't Mule, Dresden Dolls, Weezer, Alex Skolnick Trio, and more.

Jul 1, 2019

"Ain't Got You" - Skinny Devil cover

Amazing track by Calvin Carter (not to be confused with the song by the fabulous Alicia Keys) that has journeyed from Jimmy Reed to the Yardbirds to Aerosmith to Blues Brothers....and beyond!

Jul 18, 2019

"Long As I Can See the Light" CCR

Final song from CCR's 5th album, "Cosmos Factory" and never released as a single (though it was the B-side for "Looking Out My Back Door"), this awesome piece was written by John Forgerty on piano and is sometime performed solo on piano by John in concert. Requested by longtime supporters Kathy and Chopper!

Jul 29, 2019

"All Along the Watchtower" Bob Dylan

Its true, I thought for years this song to be Jimi Hendrix. But folk legend Bob Dylan penned this one, then released it in 1967 (Jimi's cover came 6 months later) on the "...Harding" album. The song, in various forms, has been used in movies from "American Beauty" to "Forrest Gump"; television from "Simpsons" to "Battlestar Galactica"; to literary references (i.e. - graphic novel "The Watchman" and others). In addition to Dylan's original and Jimi's cover, the song has been covered by Bryan Ferry, U2, Dave Matthews, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Michael Hedges, Indigo Girls, Ritchie Havens, Santana, Jeff Healey, and more......AND......its one of two songs that #MichaelHedges told me to perform (the other: "I Don't Live Today").

Aug 12, 2019

"Bring it on Home to Me" Sam Cooke

Released in May of 1968, it was originally a B-side, but peaked at number 2, has been covered by hundreds of artists, and one of R-n-R Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock-n-Roll". The original Sam Cooke version also has Lou Rawls singing backup! Covered by everyone from Aretha Franklin to the Animals to Otis Redding to Paul McCartney, and most recently heard in pop culture in the movie "Guardians of the Galaxy 2".

Aug 26, 2019

"Solitary Man" Neil Diamond

This fabulous song is Diamond's debut single from 1966! Spent a little time on the charts and has been covered by folks as diverse as Johnny Cash, HIM, Chris Isaak, and more. I grew up with this one playing in the house, so special thanx to the parental units! Haha! Hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed playing it!



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