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The Jonas Brothers: Not-So-Secret Fans of the Band

January 15, 2009 12:11 PM ET

You already know that Nick Jonas idolizes Elvis Costello — but did you know he also digs the Band? At the Jonas Brothers' January 4th show in Nashville, the trio busted out a cover of the Band's classic 1968 track "The Weight" with help from Vince Gill, Phil Vassar and Christian artists Steven Curtis Champman and Michael W. Smith. (Think The Last Waltz, but with more Jesus and less pot.)

"That chorus is undeniably perfect for a group of people to sing together," says Nick, who was inspired to tackle the harmony-heavy tune by his manager, a die-hard Band fan. "We were sitting up there like a supergroup — it was so cool."

The Bros also put their spin on Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'," Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" (on which Jordin Sparks duetted), Don McLean's "American Pie" and Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain." "We pick our cover choices by the city we're in," says Nick. "Obviously, 'Waiting in Vain' isn't from Nashville, but that's one our band really likes to play, so we let them showcase their musical abilities."

Despite the unorthodox (by Jonas standards) covers, the sold-out crowd was loving the set list. "Some of the younger fans didn't know the lyrics," says Nick. "But for the most part, people 16 and up were singing every word." So which beloved tunes are the Jonases going to dust off next? "[Elton John's] 'Tiny Dancer' might happen in the future," says Nick. "And one day, maybe we'll do 'Allison' with Mr. Costello." He pauses, suddenly sounding shy. "Actually, there's this really cool transition of 'A Little Bit Longer' that I already worked into it."

Related Stories:

Elvis Costello & the Attraction
Ask a Rock Star: Jonas Brothers
Photos: A Short History of the Jonas Brothers

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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