Amerikinda album cover
Courtesy Dualtone

Unexpected Cover Songs, Performed by a Who’s Who of American Heritage Artists

“Amerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone” features artists and alumni from the Nashville-based label, reinterpreting one another’s tracks.
By Kathryn O’Shea-Evans
September 16, 2021
2 minute read

On the whole, a cover song rarely captures the sonic greatness of the original tune—but sometimes, such reinterpretation gives way to a whole new level of distinction. The Nashville-based label Dualtone Records, which was founded in 2001 and has since released more than 200 albums and earned four Grammy wins, took the concept to heart in its new compilation album, Amerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone. It features Dualtone artists and alumni, who represent a who’s who of American heritage musicians, all covering one another’s songs in celebration of the beloved label that’s supported them over the years.

Listeners can take in Gregory Alan Isakov’s haunting rendition of The Lumineers’ “Salt And the Sea,” and The Lumineers’ stripped-down cover of Isakov’s “Caves.” There’s also Shovels & Rope’s version of “Dearly Departed,” first recorded by Shakey Graves; Hayes Carll’s take on Guy Clark’s “Worry B Gone”; and Mt. Joy’s performance of Brett Dennen’s “Ain’t No Reason.”

A sense of camaraderie and respect rings through each song, nodding toward the tight-knit community Dualtone represents. “Giving albums our full dedication, giving them their own appropriate time and space to find an audience, is something that has always been important to us,” Paul Roper, the label’s president and partner, said in a statement, noting that most of the staffers have been working at the company for nearly a decade. “Many bands on our roster are friends who tour and collaborate together, and that’s how our brand keeps growing.”