Fran Healy covers Joni Mitchell

Fran Healy covers Joni Mitchell

You might recognize Fran Healy as the singer of Scottish band Travis, who, along with Coldplay, picked up the mantle for thoughtful Brit-rock after that wacky genre "Britpop" died in the late '90s. Healy is a fantastic songwriter who's never been hemmed in by genre tags: His influences certainly stretch back to the '60s and '70s, which he notes here with a nod to Joni Mitchell. Travis had previously covered Mitchell's "River"--a sad song about spending Christmastime somewhere sunny--but here, Healy does it up acoustic style, and tells us a story about a deceptive teacher. Healy's first solo album, Wreckorder, features guest spots from Neko Case and Paul McCartney, who Healy told us used "the bass" to do his part.