Casey’s DJ pick of the week is the Great American Canyon Band cover of “Strangers in the Night.” It sees the Sinatra classic mellowed into a country-influenced duet that decorates the lyric in a Western instrumental.
Great American Canyon Band consists of Paul and Kris Masson. The couple-turned-band road tripped across the country before writing and releasing their first EP. While this experience certainly validates their band name, it also informs their take on this 1966 classic. Though lyrically untouched (down to the ad-libbed “Dooby Dooby Doo” outro), the Massons’ vocals re-shape the narrative. Each word sung together, the song transforms from one man’s reminiscing to a duo’s shared experience. It presents a new meaning, one more intimate and sublime than in the original incarnation.
As their story is told, the arrangement remains a note-for-note recreation of the original. The only recognizable change is the presence of a lap steel guitar. It covers the melodies and sub-melodies that a French horn and string section carried behind Sinatra’s voice. Though a small change, much like the presence of two vocalists, it shifts the perception of the song. Instead of an east coast, city-dwelling nightlife, one pictures the story taking place out West. Perhaps near a roadside bar, or on a ranch, or in the desert.
Despite the change in setting and change in vocalists, the song remains timeless. This makes it an obvious yet difficult cover to perform. Great American Canyon Band breathe new life into “Strangers in the Night,” proving they’re more than worthy of the task. Listen to their take on the track below:
Tune in to 100.1 FM or lightning100.com all day to hear “Strangers in the Night” by Great American Canyon Band, Casey’s DJ Pick of the Week. Share your thoughts on the track by tagging #L100DJPicks on Twitter!