Simply, this is a beautiful version of a beautiful song. It’s a brave thing to cover such an outstanding piece of work as Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’. However, Alice Howe pulls it off in some style, thanks to her excellent vocal and the assistance MB Gordy on drums and long-time collaborator Freebo (Bonnie Raitt) on the fretless bass and electric baritone guitar. That melodic bass, in particular, oozes class and makes this interpretation distinctive and memorable. Howe is suitably heartfelt, absorbed in her performance of the song.
Indeed, this is a song in which to lose yourself in Mitchell’s stunning poetry; lines like, “Oh I am a lonely painter // I live in a box of paints,” and, “Oh you are in my blood like holy wine // Oh and you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet // Oh I could drink a case of you,” capture the deepest feelings and the irrationality of love. It’s full of humanity, the pain and the joy, and articulates the universal emotions that many listeners will have endured and enjoyed.
Now based in LA, the Boston-born Alice Howe received critical acclaim for her debut album ‘Visions’, which combined original material with well-chosen covers of songs by the likes of Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke. So, Howe is no stranger to the art of taking a great song and making it her own. She is currently recording new songs at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals ready for an album due out early in 2022. Her folk-style, at once contemporary yet timeless, is warm and engaging. While waiting for the new record, check out ‘A Case of You’ from this excellent upcoming artist.