The first time I heard this song, I was standing backstage at UC Davis’ Freeborn Hall (capacity 1,318) as an unknown band called Counting Crows closed out their semi-drunken set.
Mostly what I remember about the show was that they were getting heckled from the wings by the band they were opening for (Cracker), and that the stage lights were shockingly hot when you stood even next to them, but I was paying enough attention to the music to think “Wow, great lyrics there – what’s that song?”
A few weeks later, I’d saved up enough to buy their debut album on cassette and was able to identify the track by the words I remembered: “Rain King”.
The lyrics were a little weirder and heavier than I’d remembered – “Sea of pens and feathers?” “Render up my body into the burning heart of God?” – whoa. But the song had an intriguing mystical quality to it that I’ve always been curious about.
A band I’m in has covered this song for years, playing it in the same galloping rocker mode as the original. But recently, after spending the better part of a week listening to almost nothing but classic Stax Records soul ballads (think: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave), I thought maybe it’d be interesting to slow it down a little bit.
The result? Well, check it out right here for yourself:
Like it? Just click that blue “Download” link to grab it right now.
Thanks for listening (and reading), and I’d love to know what you think – leave a comment!
[P.S. Fun fact: UC Davis is the original alma mater of Crows lead singer Adam Duritz. You’re guaranteed to win a bar bet with that one. ]