Plenty of musicians cover bigger named artists, but queer folk rocker Brandi Carlile is actually getting some of the biggest names in the business to cover her tracks: Adele, the Indigo Girls, Dolly Parton and Pearl Jam are among those providing original versions of tracks off Carlile’s 2007 album, The Story in a new benefit record, Cover Stories.
Adele performs “Hiding My Heart” on the album, with Pearl Jam singing “Again Today,” the Indigo Girls covering “Cannonball” (a track they played on in The Story, and Dolly offers a tender version of the The Story’s title track.
Other performers on the new album include Miranda Lambert, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Kris Kristofferson, Anderson East, and Margo Price.
Proceeds from Cover Stories, dropping May 5, go to War Child UK, an nonprofit supporting young refugees affected by conflict. Carlile says that having a daughter with wife Catherine Shepherd compelled her to do something for kids caught up in the current refugee crisis. She spent two years recruiting artists, writing handwritten notes to share her passion for the cause.
“This is a David and Goliath story,” Carlile said in a statement. “Since becoming a mother, the reality of a child’s beautiful life being torn apart by war felt like too big of a problem for me. So I asked my heroes and friends to help me launch a rock at the giant that is our refugee crisis and help in the only way we know how: through the power of music.”
Former president Barack Obama pens the forward for the album, writing. “As an artist, Brandi Carlile is using her talent on behalf of the most vulnerable among us, children living in areas of conflict. She reminds us that, together, we can build for our children a more just, peaceful world.”
Below, listen to more contributions from Cover Story.
All of Cover Stories is currently streaming on NPR’s First Listen.