Social Distortion's Mike Ness on His 10 Best Country-Punk Covers

From the punk godfather's take on Johnny Cash to an unexpected Kitty Wells song

"Long Black Veil," Lefty Frizzell

Although Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin's "Long Black Veil" is one of those songs that has transcended genre to be covered by a diverse array of artists – Johnny Cash, Marianne Faithful, Nick Cave, Nazareth, Iron and Wine, Grateful Dead, to name a few – Ness tried to keep the inspirational spark for his solo ballad version, off Cheating at Solitaire, as pure as possible. "I really couldn't tell you whose version that I heard first or was most inspired by," he says. "For that song, it was a case of 'the less I hear of other people doing it, the better.' Because I just wanted to do my own take on it. However, I did like Mick Jagger's cover of it, the one he did with the Chieftains. Mine is kind of in between his version and Lefty Frizzell's original."

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