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Premiere: The Sheepdogs, 'The Way It Is'

Listen to first single of cover contest winners' debut album

July 12, 2012 9:00 AM ET
The Sheepdogs, 'The Way It Is'
The Sheepdogs, 'The Way It Is'
Atlantic

Click to listen to the Sheepdogs' 'The Way It Is'

The winners of last year's Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone contest, the Sheepdogs became the first unsigned band ever to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. In the year since, the Saskatchewan, Canada-based band have racked up some miles on tour and worked with Austin Scaggs and the Black Keys' Patrick Carney to produce their major label debut album, filled with the guitar-driven, harmonic sounds that have been central to their music.  

The lead single for the album The Sheepdogs is the guitar-fueled "The Way It Is," available to stream exclusively here. Frontman Ewan Currie explains that he "wanted to do a song that had a big nasty strut. Nothing packs a punch like a two-note riff. It's lean and mean."

The Sheepdogs will embark on a coast-to-coast tour on September 16th in Niagara Falls. The Sheepdogs will be released on September 4th on Atlantic Records.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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