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

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"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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