Life is too short to play songs like somebody else plays them. And anyway, who the heck could ever play anything by supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash even close to the way they do? Certainly not the likes of me!

The Stephen Stills classic "Southern Cross" has been a favorite of mine since it first came out. I used to cover it in my "classic retro" solo acoustic set. But lately I got to wondering... hey, you know, that's a sea song... what would it sound like played like an old sea shanty? Well folks, now you know:

How I did it

I recorded the audio live in my recording software at the same time I was shooting video. Then I laid down some backing vocal tracks, and finished up with some virtual instruments played on a midi keyboard: upright bass and concertina. It was a toss-up between button accordion and concertina, but there's something about the latter that just seemed to fill the bill perfectly.

Does it work?

Got one interesting bit of feedback on this. Guy said that David Crosby is probably turning over in his grave. Given that David Crosby still alive (which is in itself amazing if you know his personal history), I wondered if the gent might be thinking of Bing Crosby. When I mentioned that David Crosby is not dead, the guy says, "Well, this will do for him if he ever hears it!" Obviously a purist. I know from experience, there's no satisfying them.

What do you think? And what other classic or modern pop songs with a maritime theme would you like to hear experimented on this way? Let me know in the comments!

Capture from CS&N cover song video

Frame capture from the video

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