Esther Rose’s 2019 album You Made it This Far, was one of the most underrated releases of last year. Her mix of classic country and indie folk sounded fresh and distinctive – songs like Handyman, Only Loving You and Lower 9 Valentine were outstanding examples of what inventive Americana songwriting could be. She now follows up that release with this short and sweet EP of cover songs, which form a sort of playlist of influences on her musical style.
The title of the EP comes from the Sheryl Crow song ‘My Favorite Mistake’ but also signals to the listener that these are personally loved songs and her performance of them won’t necessarily be ‘perfect’. I’ve always liked the Sheryl Crow song, an honest and real retelling about her relationship with Eric Clapton. Esther Rose’s version is quieter, dreamier and a little sadder but equally as endearing.
Nick Lowe’s ‘Blue On Blue’ was a song she heard often when supporting him on tour, recently explaining how she was transfixed by the song every night from the side of the stage so much so that she soon began learning to play it herself. She’s stamped her own freewheeling Americana sound onto the song, with gorgeous results.
Hank Williams is another key influence on the simple direct style of her songwriting and so it’s only right she chooses one of his to cover on the E.P.. Her version of his classic country shuffle I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You) is assisted by duet partner Lee Walker.
Roy Orbison’s Blue Bayou, sung famously by Linda Ronstadt of course, is stripped back to its raw acoustic roots by Rose. Right now this song feels perfect, since it’s about wanting to be reunited with your loved ones and travel to somewhere beautiful. Dreaming of being in a better place, looking forward to happier times is about all we have right now.
We’ll be back in the world again, sometime soon. Until then let the lovely Esther Rose be your soundtrack to the pandemic blues.