Mandolin Orange and Hiss Golden Messenger support new North Carolina fundraiser compilaton

If you were going to rank US states for their contribution to music over the years, North Carolina would be right up there and for fifty years, Carrboro’s live venue Cat’s Cradle has been at the heart of it, but like many independent venues across the US, it’s now in trouble as a result of the pandemic. As a response to this, a new compilation comes out today via Bandcamp called ‘Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle’ which brings together some of North Carolina’s most notable artists across multiple genres but with a notable americana bent to support the venue including Chatham County Line, Hiss Golden Messenger, Iron and Wine, Mandolin Orange, Steep Canyon Rangers, Superchunk, Tift Merritt and The Mountain Goats among others. Each artist performs a cover version of a favourite song of theirs, with many recorded during the pandemic.
“I, and the rest of the Cat’s Cradle family, have been bowled over by the concern being shown for music venues both here and around the country,” says Frank Heath, owner of the venue. “Learning about this effort to assist the Cradle, has just reinforced another wonderful thing that we really already knew, that so many of the Triangle’s great artists and musicians are also amazing and caring people, who value and want to help protect Cat’s Cradle, and who also genuinely care about all of the other artists and the entire music community.”

Matt McMichaels from The Mayflies USA who have covered The Smiths’ track ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ says: “the song literally conveys our feelings about the Cradle. It’s been a light in NC for fifty years—on a personal level, a huge part of our band’s history—and we fervently hope that it never goes out. Chapel Hill/Carrboro without the Cat’s Cradle is unthinkable.”

More information on the music and the cause, plus a link to buy the record is available at And don’t forget the UK’s Save Our Venues campaign which is valiantly battling to keep homegrown from going under.

‘Cover Charge’ Track Listing:

1. Superchunk – “Can’t Stop the World” (The Go-Go’s)
2. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers – “Apocalypse” (Cigarettes After Sex)
3. Hiss Golden Messenger and Jonathan Wilson – “Travellin’ in Style” (Free)
4. The dB’s – “I’m on an Island” (The Kinks)
5. Steep Canyon Rangers – “Unknown Legend” (Neil Young)
6. Eric Bachmann & Skylar Gudasz – “All I Have to Do is Dream” (The Everly Brothers)
7. The Connells – “Keep Your Distance” (Richard Thompson)
8. Mandolin Orange – “Boots of Spanish Leather” (Bob Dylan)
9. The Love Language – “Everything Flows” (Teenage Fanclub)
10. Dex Romweber (feat. Jennifer Curtis) – “A Face in the Crowd” (Andy Griffith)
11.Tift Merritt – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”  (Kris Kristofferson)
12. The Old Ceremony – “Alone Again Or” (Love)
13. Mayflies USA – “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” (The Smiths)
14. The Mountain Goats – “The Longest Winter” (Paradise Lost)
15. Faith Jones – “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)
16. Mipso – “Long Distance Love” (Little Feat)
17. Terry Anderson and The Olympic-Ass Kickin Team – “Every Night” (Paul McCartney)
18. Florence Dore – “Somewhere Down the Line” (Marshall Crenshaw)
19. Southern Culture on the Skids – “Let’s Work Together” (Wilbert Harrison)
20. Iron & Wine – “Piss Diary” (Kingsbury Manx)
21. Mount Moriah – “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” (Neil Young)
22. Sam Melo of Rainbow Kitten Surprise – “Stars” (Janis Ian)
23. Don Dixon & Marti Jones – “Respoken” (The Lovin Spoonful)
24. Chatham County Line – “Think I’m in Love” (Beck)
25. The Veldt – “Dress You Up” (Madonna)

About Mark Whitfield 2026 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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