Posts Tagged Madonna

Sugarland And Little Big Town Cover ‘Like A Prayer’

Sugarland, Little Big Town, Like A Prayer, Madonna

Sugarland and Little Big Town on the 2011 Incredible Machine Tour

Sugarland is known for “curveball” cover tunes. And they’ve done it again! Madonna‘s “Like A Prayer” gets the country treatment on the current Incredible Machine Tour — with help from tour-mates Little Big Town!

It’s a return to the 80s for Sugarland, who’ve covered The Dream Academy‘s “Life In A Northern Town” and the B-52’s “Love Shack” in past years.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush launch into this version of “Like A Prayer” by themselves. Around 90 seconds in, the crowd erupts as Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet from Little Big Town join in on the chorus.

Check out the video. It’s fun stuff. “Put your dancing shoes on,” as Jennifer says.


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Idol Thoughts — 02.23.10

It’s the first live show of the season. And just for the heck of it, I tried a little live blogging tonight.

It was a little more efficient than my usual mode. Thoughts shared as they’re spilling out. Less time writing after the show. But all the damn typing! It did feel like I wasn’t actually watching the show at times. Just listening. So I started to rewinding the DVR during the commercials and re-watching performances.

That worked pretty well. And on a night that started with Simon Cowell hyping the girls, referencing his recent comments that a girl will win this season, things hit a slick in the road and swerved into a ditch.

There was much to be ambivalent about tonight. And the judges were hard on the hopefuls. Here’s how things went down.

Paige Miles – “All Right Now” by Free – Surprising song choice. Simon is right. This is one of those Wedding Singer-type of songs that can be hard to distinguish yourself singing. Wanted to like it more than I did. She’s got pipes. Pick a better song next time.

Ashley Rodriguez — “Happy” by Leona Lewis. Ashley’s a great looking woman. The singing got a little pitchy at times. I’ve been a big fan…up to now. This was a step backwards.

Janell Wheeler – “What About Love” by Heart – Hmmm. This is not very good. The singing’s flat and the performance feels nervous–awkward and too “mannered.” I’d suggest going back to chalkboard and rethinking song choice for next week. More like the Estelle song she did at Hollywood Week.

Lilly Scott – “Fixing A Hole” by The Beatles – One of the most unexpected song choices on Idol ever. This is a classic, to be certain. But it’s far from the Beatles best known song. Jazzy take on it. She’s doing her own thing. And it’s good! Nice job.

Katelyn Epperly – “Oh Darling” by The Beatles – Hard not to love a girl sportin’ Madonna‘s hair from the Like A Virgin album cover. This girl can sing. At moments, her voice reminds me (just a little) of Kelly Clarkson. My fave so far.

Haeley Vaughn – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles – Looks like those CD reissues and their Rock Band edition has this group of singers all over the Beatles catalog tonight. I like Haeley’s re-arrangement. In theory. Some notes were quite nice. But some others not so much. She’s got much potential. She just needs to be more consistent and pull it all together. Ellen nut-shelled this performance: “If it was a mess, it was a hot mess.”

Lacey Brown – “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac – I wonder if sitting down on a stool for your song on the first live show is a good idea. I say get up and let people see you. But maybe she’ll stick out by being different. First note wasn’t good. Thought maybe she’d turn it around. But she kept going back to some odd notes. Not my fave tonight. My guess is Lacey could be in trouble.

Michelle Delamor – “Fallen” by Alicia Keys – Wow. Sounds great and looks very comfortable on stage. She’s operating on a higher level than the others we’ve seen so far. I agree with Kara DioGuardi. She needs to develop more uniqueness and believability. Take risks, as Randy Jackson told her.

Didi Benami – “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson – Wondering how this will go. Didi’s known for the waterworks. Hope she’s ready for the judges comments, either way they go. She’s got some skills. But Simon’s got a point. There’s several singers in the competition going for the same sound. Simon and Randy riffing about tonight’s show, basically saying, “Where’s the star power?” Agreed. Some of these performances have been pretty sleepy.

Siobhan Magnus – “Wicked Game” by Chris Issak – Great Song. When Chris Issak sings it. Siobhan’s version is not working for me. A little too “formal” sounding for my taste. My friend Phil Stacey (Idol, Season 6) is making a good point on Facebook. The band is mixed very, very low behind her voice. He says that means they “are NOT helping her.” I hope he doesn’t mean that they’re doing that intentionally. I hope she sticks around. I’d like to hear more from her. She feels genuine.

Crystal Bowersox – “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette – She gets a cheer for playing the harmonica. That might be an Idol first. Good stuff–but I was expecting to be blown away a little more. Like Randy and Ellen, I’m a fan. I suspect Crystal could make some music I’d want to listen to. Agree with Simon. She needs to expand beyond her “coffee house” sound.

Katie Stevens – “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé – Good voice. But not doing her best tonight. A little of that “high school talent show” vibe goin’ on in the performance. Getting roasted by the judges for picking such an “old” sounding song. Adam Lambert sang this one last season. Of course, his version was based on the remake by the band Muse. Katie will be fine. This happens every season. Young singer does a song that makes them sound “old.” Gets spanked by the judges. “Youngs it up” next time around.

What did you think?

Greg Valentine
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