Following last year’s successful Songs Of Their Own video series of artists covering songs by the Grateful Dead, the Twenty Years Later video series features some of JamBase’s favorite musicians recording songs released in 1996. Looking back, the music released 20 years ago proved to be critical in both rock ‘n’ roll history and particularly within the jam band scene. The year 1996 saw seminal albums released by Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, moe., The String Cheese Incident, the Disco Biscuits, Keller Williams, Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood, God Street Wine, Strangefolk and The Slip, helping to solidify the maturing jam scene.
There were also influential records issued in 1996 by the likes of artists as diverse as Beck, Jamiroquai, Modest Mouse, Rage Against The Machine, Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam, Sting, Tool, 2Pac and many others. The Twenty Years Later video series takes a look back at those releases, with participating artists covering songs from albums turning 20 this year. For this installment, The Lil’ Smokies wondered what it was like to cover Matchbox Twenty’s “Real World.”
In October 1996 Matchbox Twenty made their full length debut with the widely successful LP Yourself Or Someone Like You. Frontman Rob Thomas led the group to stardom behind the record’s popular singles “Long Day,” “Push,” “3 A.M.” and “Back 2 Good.” Another single from the band’s debut LP was “Real World,” which helped propel the album to over 12 million copies sold worldwide. Ten years after its release, it was reported that Frank Torres – the man pictured on the LP cover above – sued the band claiming they didn’t seek permission to use his image.
Recorded earlier this year during the same session that yielded their Twenty Years Later cover of Counting Crows’ “Long December,” Missoula, Montana-based The Lil’ Smokies performed a number of songs at JamBase’s Bay Area headquarters. Banjoist Matt Cornette, mandolinist Cameron Wilson, Dobro player Andy Dunnigan, bassist Scott Parker and guitarist Matthew Rieger also performed their unreleased original “The Gallery” along with the covers.
Audio and video recorded and edited by Jake Alexander