Editor's note: If you grew up in South Florida, you've lived a delightfully half-baked existence. You've definitely smoked the stickiest crippy and the worst Jamaican schwag. County Grind got all stoned and thought, why not ask these toasty South Florida musicians to give us a taste of their favorite pot-inspired songs in preparation for 420? This Chronic Cover series introduces you to both songs about weed and local talents.
The idea of heading up a 420 musical project struck me as phenomenal. When my editor asked that I take control of it, I marveled at the prospects and stoner high jinks our local music scene might produce. I did ponder, "So, we are the first person that came to mind to work on this? How does that really bode on our character?" After some contemplation, we thought, "Pretty freaking groovy, that's how!"
After receiving the assignment, I bumped into West Palm Beach indie-folk wiz Nick Eberhardt at a local watering hole. Last year, Eberhardt's debut solo album, Can You Feel It, blew us away. Recorded in just one month as part of National Public Radio's RPM Challenge, Can You Feel It is a delicate, heartfelt record that deals with the passing of Eberhardt's father. After spending years fronting local rock outfit Noble Rocket and subsequently Dark Lights, Can You Feel It showcased the potential Eberhardt has as a solo musician.
Eberhardt has been somewhat of a local scene anomaly, a musical recluse, if you will. He rarely takes to the stage. Witnessing a Nick Eberhardt solo performance these days is akin to bumping into J.D. Salinger on the subway -- when he was alive, of course. Yet Eberhardt has such stage presence, charisma, and a captivating, dynamic voice that he could be gigging every weekend.
The musician was on the short list of acts I hoped would participate in this project. The normally mild-mannered and extremely approachable Eberhardt gave a rather belligerent response to the request to participate. "What, do I look like a fucking stoner to you?" he said deadpan. Was he joking? Eberhardt rather begrudgingly asked for my email and said that he would consider it but that he couldn't make any promises.
To my delight, the next morning in my inbox was this amusing, off-the-wall cover of Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35." Eberhardt is spot-on with this zaniness that effused from Dylan's most eccentric moments on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. When Eberhardt began the song by going bonkers on the kazoo, we knew we were in for a treat.
Eberhardt presents a much more stripped-down version than the original here. Instead of the trombone, piano, bass, and other accoutrements Dylan had at his disposal, Eberhardt brings local singer/songwriter Johnny Buscemi in on what looks to be a miniature accordion and features Bryan Wohlust -- former frontman for Doorway 27 and current head of supergroup Luxury of Company -- rocking out on a kooky slide whistle.
I couldn't think of a better jam to kick off our 420 countdown. Thanks, Nick! You nailed, what is perhaps the best 420 refrain in history: "I would not feel so all alone/Everyone must get stoned."
As an aside, Eberhardt wanted us to mention that he is in the process of wrapping up his next album and that details would be released about said project in the coming weeks. Look for more Eberhardt information here.
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