Out today: "Driver 8"

Fri Jan 29, 11:12 AM

The latest installment in the Smallpox series of covers is “Driver 8,” an outstanding take on the classic R.E.M. song. Guitarist/vocalist Daniel Smith explains his love of the song.

“Remember that person who always seemed to be a couple of steps ahead of everyone else when it came to discovering new bands? Yeah, well, that wasn’t me. I was usually late to the party,” Smith explains. “In 1988, a friend had just picked up a copy of Eponymous, R.E.M.‘s greatest hits from the IRS years and, as per the usual, we got really baked and listened to it for hours.”

“As far as the band was concerned, I had heard of them, but hadn’t really thought much of them either way. Or at least that’s what I thought until my friend put the album on – at which point I started wondering why the hell these songs sounded so damn familiar? And yeah, the answer was because I’d heard most of them before. Moreover, I had apparently been ignoring one of my favorite bands of all time.”

As a postscript, Daniel adds “But here’s the kicker – a few years later I was talking to an old friend from Daytona and he reminded me that we both saw them open for Big Country. Spring break, 1984. Not that I even remember it. Always a bridesmaid.”

You can stream the song here where it is available for download for just one dollar. The full album, imaginatively titled The Covers Album, is available for $18 and gets you a new download every other week, plus a few extras throughout the year.

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