Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon continues world domination tour, collaborates with The Chieftains
Dissatisfied with four Grammy nods, an upcoming Saturday Night Live gig, and getting to kick it with Kathleen Edwards, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has extended his reign of falsetto terror by collaborating with legendary Irish folk band The Chieftains. On the group’s upcoming Voice Of Ages (due out Feb. 21), Vernon contributes lead vocals to a decidedly pretty take on the traditional murder ballad, “Down In The Willow Garden.” The album, which celebrates The Chieftains’ 50th (!) anniversary, also features collaborations with The Decemberists, The Civil Wars, The Low Anthem, and others. Pitchfork has a stream of Vernon’s contribution here.
“Down In The Willow Garden” has been covered by a number of artists over the years, among them The Everly Brothers, Art Garfunkel, Kristin Hersh, and, of course, Nick Cave. It’s doubtful, however, that any of these takes can match the tenderness of Holly Hunter’s performance in Raising Arizona. Sometimes it’s a hard world for the little things.