The Cleverlys have made their career serving as the court jesters of bluegrass, entertaining folks with witty, grassified covers of pop hits with a humorous twist. But a big part of why the joke works is because they are all first-rate musicians and singers, who have studied the genre for many years. They just employ those skills in the service of comedy, and bring a good many non-bluegrass enthusiasts into the fold in the process.
To prove the point, The Cleverly’s have released a pair of music videos, both recorded during a concert at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant in downtown Nashville.
First up, their down-home treatment of Milkshake, the international R&B hit from Kelis in 2003.
The second video goes on to demonstrate that these guys can cut the gig as a serious bluegrass band as well, offering up a sincere version of Wait A Minute, cut by the Seldom Scene in 1974 for their Old Train LP. Digger shows himself to be a fine interpreter of Herb and Nikki Pedersen’s masterpiece, with appropriately understated accompaniment from his kinfolk. And if you don’t think this is a non-bluegrass audience, check their non-reaction to the announcement of the Scene.
From the ridiculous to the sublime?
Both of these songs are included on the band’s current album, Blue, from Mountain Home Music.