Hear Ben Harper and Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) Cover Nick Drake’s ‘Black Eyed Dog’

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Ben Harper and Rhiannon Giddens have premiered a new collaboration, a cover of the song “Black Eyed Dog” — which was originally written and recorded by the late Nick Drake in one of his final recording sessions in 1974.

Their cover, the first collaboration between Harper and Giddens, founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, features Harper on lap steel and Giddens on banjo, can be heard below:

“Rhiannon and I are both black purveyors of American roots music, and while this is not an anomaly, it is an exception within a subculture,” said Harper in a statement. “We have unquestionably tapped into the same creative well of influence, carrying on the tradition through our own individual instincts and perspectives.”

He added:

“I’ve always wanted to cover ‘Black Eyed Dog’, but the song was intimidating in its haunted perfection. Only through collaborating with Rhiannon would I have ever attempted it. When I step back from it, this collaboration should’ve happened long ago, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally here.”

Said Giddens:

“I’ve been hearing and hearing about Ben Harper for a long time, but had never gotten to meet him until recently at an event in LA and I was immediately struck by a kindred spirit. Didn’t have as much to do with the kind of music we play, although we share many, many commonalities as black folk playing roots music, but more to do with the spirit that we access when we play it. I felt that spirit in him right off and knew if we ever got the chance, we could make something beautiful together.”

“Black Eyed Dog” was one of the final songs recorded by Nick Drake, the product of sessions in 1974 that came shortly before the talented but troubled singer/songwriter‘s death later that year.

Here’s Drake’s original rendition of the song:

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