Kalie Shorr’s Emotional Cover of the Chicks’ ‘Cowboy Take Me Away’ Is Haunting [LISTEN]
Shorr has re-recorded the Chicks' "Cowboy, Take Me Away," which gave them a No. 1 hit when they released it as the second single from their sophomore major-label album, Fly, in 1999. Their original take on the song was a fun, harmony-laden track, but Shorr's version strips down all of the instruments except her sole clean electric guitar, which she uses as a backdrop for a hauntingly plaintive, almost mournful rendition of the classic song that is striking.
"Cowboy, me take me away / Fly this girl as high as you can into the wild blue / Set me free, oh, I pray / Closer to Heaven above and closer to you / Closer to you," Shorr sings, raising the key of the song and employing a breathy tone in her top voice that suggests Sarah McLaughlin more than Sara Evans.
Her take on the track is much darker than the original, almost resonating with a fatalism that although she can dream of going away, she knows she's stuck where she is. Shorr tells Variety that she recorded the song during her pandemic isolation, and she changed the key from major to minor and altered some of the chords. The result reflects her own emotions at not only losing her touring livelihood due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but having to cancel what would have been her first headlining tour.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to see the entire world going through the exact same thing, of having their jobs taken away. It sounds so dramatic, but you could just feel this black cloud had enshrouded Earth. And so when I was listening to "Cowboy, Take Me Away," I was like, ‘Oh, that sounds so nice, to go somewhere,'" she says.
Shorr's rendition of "Cowboy, Take Me Away" appears on her new EP, 3X3, Vol. 1: The Chicks, which also features her new takes on "Hole in My Head” and “Cold Day in July." Two forthcoming volumes of the project will feature Shorr's cuts of three songs apiece from what Variety describes as a "female rap trio and highly commercial alt-rock band." Those projects are to be announced.
3X3, Vol. 1: The Chicks is currently available for streaming and download across a wide variety of digital music retailers.
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