With their love of roots-laden rock and a sense of “everyday Joe” zen, it’s easy to see why My Morning Jacket have a pronounced admiration for Woody Guthrie. Back in 2012, frontman Jim James teamed with members of Son Volt and Gob Iron for a tribute album and accompanying tour. Now, MMJ has unveiled a cover Guthrie’s iconic, “This Land Is Your Land”.
The band maintains much of the charming simplicity of the song, albeit fleshing it out with a bit more musical girth. The breezy twang still serves as the core, but now it wonders through a bluegrass-inspired meadow of sweeping slide guitar and some upbeat percussion. James may not deliver the same kind of simple-man vocals, but the decision to shift his croon toward honky-tonk fits with this bright and cheerful update.
In an accompanying statement, James said, “It’s one of those songs like ‘Blowing in the Wind’ and ‘Stand By Me’ — it’s one of those classic, eternal songs. Maybe it is even the most eternal song when it comes to America.”
Listen in below (via Rolling Stone).
MMJ and North Face released the song as part of the “Your Land” campaign, which goes to benefit the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. The song is also part of a commercial, which begins airing nationally on November 9th. Check it out below.