Watch Brett Dennen Perform "Heaven" and "When Doves Cry"

August 25, 2009 2:07 PM ET

Singer-songwriter Brett Dennen, a Rolling Stone Artist to Watch, recently stopped by our studios to perform his new single "Heaven," off his 2008 album Hope For the Hopeless. On September 1st, Dennen will debut a new version of "Heaven," featuring former 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman Natalie Merchant, on AOL Music. Their duet will be available on iTunes on September 1st as well, and Hope For the Hopeless will go on sale for $5 on Amie Street starting September 8th, with $1 of each sale going to the Life is Good Kids Foundation.

Dennen also busted out a cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry," telling Rolling Stone he was inspired by a recent screening of Purple Rain in Brooklyn. Check out Dennen's acoustic rendition of the 1984 smash below:

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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