I’ve had in the back of my head a series of CDs culled from Railroad Earth’s archive.org catalog called, “Essential Covers.” Over time, I’d add a CD to it including various covers the band has done over the years, so there would be a Volume I, Volume II, etc.
This will be very objective subjective [Ed. – thanks, Grubb] — my favorite versions of songs. Folks are more than welcome to suggest things, as I’m by no means exhaustive in my knowledge of every version of every song the band has played since 2001. Some caveats, though: no songs from the From Good Homes era, so that means no Head, no Hunting Song, no Old Man, and even no Warhead. But I will take songs like Gretna Green, since Todd didn’t write them.
So here’s an incomplete list of songs from the top of my head:
Magic Foot (Russ Barenberg)
Luxury Liner (Gram Parsons)
For Love (Robert Earl Keen)
Jerusalem Ridge (Bill Monroe)
Bluegrass Breakdown (Bill Monroe)
Old Dangerfield (Bill Monroe)
The Cuckoo (Peter Rowan)
Cold Water (Tom Waits)
Walk Beside Me (Tim O’Brien)
Fisherman’s Blues (The Waterboys)
My Sisters and Brothers
Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodle-oo
Bowling Green (Everly Brothers)
Fire on the Mountain (Bill Monroe)
Brown County Breakdown (guessing this is a cover)
Ophelia (The Band)
Acadian Driftwood (The Band)
Desolation Row (Bob Dylan)
Dover to Dunkirk (Jack Hardy)
Gretna Green (Jack Hardy)
If you have others, feel free to add them in comments here. I know I have probably twenty-plus more lurking in my head that I’m not recalling at the moment.