Copper & Coal Pay Homage to George Jones

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One of the late, great country legends is getting a West Coast salute with Deer Lodge: A Tribute to George Jones. Drawing on talent from the Pacific Northwest, the eclectic collection ensures that the Possum gets a rousing, heartfelt send-off from the area’s admirers.

The Portland, Oregon-based duo Copper & Coal chose to record the sentimental classic “Walk Through This World With Me” for the project. Leslie Beia, the red-headed “Copper” member of the group, told CMT Edge she is often drawn to Jones’ saddest songs but decided to take a different approach.

“As a huge George Jones fan, I am especially fond of the really, really heartbreaking tunes,” she said. “‘Things Have Gone to Pieces’ is a song I’ve been singing for years that I love to pull out around 3 a.m. when I’m picking with folks. … ‘The Grand Tour’ is another wrenching favorite. So when asked to pick one song, it was hard not to go there. But I decided it would probably provide a nice contrast to do this really sweet, no-holds-barred love song.”

The duo lend a distinct feminine touch to the tune, which was a No. 1 hit for Jones in 1967.

“I’m not sure I could make an argument one way or another as to whether George is more suited to heartbreak songs or love songs, but if I had to lean one way, I’d say his voice is just unmatched for the former,” Beia said. “And female harmonies have a certain innate sweetness that I think is really suited to this type of tune.”

Although “Walk Through This World With Me” was written by two women — Kay Savage and Sandra Seamons — it is unusual for a female artist to revive the romantic song.

“I guess I haven’t heard any women cover it either. I wonder why that is? In any case, covering George is a formidable task, and even though we keep the instrumentation and feel very similar, if I were a solo male singer, I don’t think I’d even try to carry it off!” Beia stated. “Just by virtue of being who we are, we are able to lend the song a slightly different feel without veering too far from the original.”

Beai said she came to learn about traditional country through old-time and bluegrass music, while Carra Stasney – her brunette “Coal” counterpart – discovered it through folk music and singers like Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Together, their admiration for the golden era country is evident. Check out Copper & Coal’s rendition of “Walk Through This World With Me.”

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