Courtney Barnett’s talent has been recognized, as she’s commonly acclaimed as one of the finest rock musicians out there doing it today. She just shared a pair of recordings for a Spotify Singles release, and on one of them, she pays tribute to an artist who hasn’t necessarily gotten her due, with a cover of Elyse Weinberg’s ‘Houses,” a forgotten song from the ’60s that originally featured Neil Young on guitar.
The story behind Weinberg’s original recording is a fascinating one: Weinberg released her debut album, Elyse, in 1968, and it was a modest success that actually managed to land her an appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. However, her career didn’t thrive as much in the following years, and over time, her music was largely forgotten. Somebody at Orange Twin Records heard the album years later, though, and decided to re-release it on the label in 2001. This re-issue added bonus tracks, including “Houses,” a song recorded during the Elyse era that features Young, a fellow Toronto native.
Since then, the track has been covered by artists like Dinosaur Jr., Vetiver, and now, Barnett. The song is a perfect fit for Barnett, since there’s actually some similarity between the vocal styles of Barnett and Weinberg, and there are moments on Barnett’s new album Tell Me How You Really Feel where some Young-esque guitar tones can be heard.
Listen to Barnett’s cover of “Houses” above, and compare it with the original recording, below. Also revisit the Celebration Rock podcast episode featuring Barnett here, and read our interview with her here.