I love a release that leads me back on a trail of breadcrumbs for gems from the past. This latest single from longstanding West Coast rippers The Mother Hips springs from an unlikely well. Marking the first time the band have included a cover on an album, they turn in a sunbaked rendition of “I Don’t Want To Drive You Away,” originally recorded by Anne Murray of all people. Sometimes referred to as “David’s Song,” the cut was written by David Wiffen, a Canadian songwriter who released a couple of solo records in the early ‘70s, but was more well known behind the artists he’d written for. Penning songs for Murray, Jerry Jeff Walker, Roger McGuinn, and Tom Rush, he had a way with tender country romps. The original cut for Murray is actually miles away from the adult-contemporary she’d become known for, a jangling, smoldering song with backwards guitar and a wounded heart. The Mother Hips do the song justice, stripping out a bit of the smokiness of Murray’s delivery, but keeping Wiffen’s charms in tact, rendering a contemporary of the country-pop of the early ‘00s alongside Beachwood Sparks or Wilco. The cut appears on the band’s upcoming LP Glowing Lantern out December 3rd on Blue Rose.
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