Busted Jukebox, Vol. 1

Good Lord is Busted Jukebox a fun idea. An Americana/folk duo doing covers of rock mainstays like Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses and The Kinks, and teaming up with everyone from The Milk Carton Kids and Lucius, to JD McPherson and Preservation Hall Jazz Band to make it happen. Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst offer up Motownesque updates one minute (Touissaint McCall’s “Nothing Takes the Place of You”), and passionate, vocal-shredding send-ups (GNR’s “Patience”) the next. They ably pull off the trick of keeping you on your toes even though you’ve heard these songs before. And they do so with such subtle skill—not to mention dazzling harmonizing—as to make the songs sound like originals, which is no small feat. The busload of guest artists gives the album some extra firepower, but they always accentuate the stirring, soulful vibe Trent and Hearst create, and never overwhelm the songs. Busted my ass; more like refurbished, shiny and new.