Raincatcher Records

Discover a new song, old or new (but probably old)

The Del McCoury Band - "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye" (2020 McCoury Music, Inc.)

Cover Image for The Del McCoury Band - "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye" (2020 McCoury Music, Inc.)

w Doug Gilmore, Mickey Newbury; Single

Del McCoury has been a Bluegrass fixture since he joined Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys sixty years ago, having been inspired to take up the banjo a decade earlier by original Bluegrass Boy Earl Scruggs. He's been singing in his archetypical, Ralph Stanley-esque tenor ever since, and his vocals and bluegrass instrumentation lend a certain verisimilitude to this cover that isn't in the Jerry Lee Lewis original.

Don't get me wrong, Jerry was very much a master of Country & Western (and in the running for King of Rock & Roll, though I give it to Little Richard...), but the characteristic swagger in both his singing and piano playing kind of take the edge off of a real sad song. Which to some extent is the M.O. of Country Music, and most popular music historically, but "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye" (co-written by Mickey Newbury, author of "Why You Been Gone so Long", Elvis' aforementioned "An American Trilogy", and "Just Dropped in to See What Condition My Condition Was in") has got a depth beyond that of the average Classic Country song...

Lyrics like "It's her sorrow, it's not a man / And no matter what they say, we know she tried" , "It's not her heart, Lord, it's her mind", and the title refrain suggest that there's a lot going on for the lady in question...it's not just a question of "I done her wrong", or vice versa. So the song's sad for a much more profound, existential reason (compare Meatloaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad", or more bluntly, "Life Turned Her That Way" by Harlan Howard), and that's complemented by a high-lonesome sound like Del McCoury's.

Unlike most of the performers you'll find on this site, Del and his sons are still touring. In fact, you can catch them in the LA area this coming weekend at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, along with too many others...

For another great Country song done in a Bluegrass idiom, you might check out Senator Robert Byrd's version of "Come Sundown She'll Be Gone". And as always...

Also Check Out:

By the Del McCoury Band:

"That Old Train" - YouTube | Spotify

By Jerry Lee Lewis:

"I Can Still Hear the Music in the Restroom" - YouTube | Spotify

More Posts