Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts were due to support Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Joan Jett on their epic US stadium tour this summer; however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic all touring activity is currently on hold so Covers From The Quarantine is Smith’s contribution to the music community during these times of quarantine & isolation.
Throughout the period he has kept creating new material and performing originals & covers for rock lovers with his bi-weekly live-streams. The EP is a collection of Tuk’s favourite tracks based on his mood at any given time during quarantine and recorded stripped of electric guitars in his attic studio, with just some keyboards and drum samples, which gives a unique take on each track.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umsmGc2pvII&w=560&h=315]
The EP opens with INX’S ‘ Don’t Change’ which Tuk had wanted to cover with his band for a number of years but never got around to. Acoustic guitars give the track an almost dreamy feel, but Smith still manages to capture the energy & feel of the original whilst making it his own.
David Bowie has been an inspiration for Smith for many years so the second track, ‘Life On Mars’, whilst not an easy choice, was an obvious one and he does a good job, once more capturing the feel of the original. He gives us a really strong vocal performance, which given the subdued backing really works well.
‘Hard Luck Woman’ is up next and Smith doesn’t stray far from the original with his cover of this KISS song. Widely reported as having been originally written with Rod Stewart in mind, the track retains that seventies feel of ‘You Wear It Well’ and Smith turns in another sterling vocal performance.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTe8T-rLgtE&w=560&h=315]
Lana Del Rey’s ‘Summertime Sadness’ follows with Smith changing a few words to sing the track from his perspective and although he had some doubts as to whether he should have covered the track or not, he makes a great success of it.
The final track is a cover of The Who’s ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, where Smith is accompanied by acoustic guitars and angelic backing vocals. Once again strong vocals are central to the track and it’s a great cover to finish with.
What comes across on all the tracks, is the ability to retain the vibe of the original track whilst putting his own stamp on it – the mark of a truly accomplished artist. The simplicity of the arrangements serves to showcase what a talent Smith is and it will be good to catch him and his band on the road, when normality returns.
Covers From The Quarantine was released on 12th June 2020
Covers From The Quarantine Track Listing
2.Life On Mars
3.Hard Luck Woman
5.Behind Blue Eyes
Connect with Tuk Smith: Facebook: www.facebook.com/@tuksmithofficial Twitter: www.twitter.com/@tuksmithmusic Instagram: www.facebook.com/@tuksmithofficial
Reviewed by : Howard Whitelaw for MPM