Mark Ronson’s groove-heavy single “Uptown Funk” is an undeniable smash, and now it’s influencing even country artists. Soulful country hippie Drake White and pop-leaning newbie Cam both turned in stripped-down versions of the Bruno Mars-sung jam on two different radio programs with vastly different results.
For the Alabama-born White, “Uptown Funk” takes on a swampy feel, driven by his rhythmic acoustic guitar and a staccato delivery of the lyrics — which the Dot Records recording artist admitted he needed in front of him. Still, his unfamiliarity with Mars’ “dragon” and “hot damn” wordplay didn’t take away from the performance’s spirit. Listen to White’s abbreviated jam here.
Cam, a recent signee to Arista Nashville — and one of the highlights of Sony’s showcase during the recent Country Radio Seminar week in Music City — lends a little more sunny pop to “Uptown Funk.” With hints of Cam’s California upbringing, her performance is all harmonies and winking lyrical nods to her own name: her band subs “hot Cam” for “hot damn.” The singer covered the Number One hit for “Joy Week” on the syndicated Bobby Bones Show, a string of performances aimed at fostering positive mental attitude. Other highlights of the stunt included Chris Janson interpreting Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” on guitar and harmonica, and Frankie Ballard singing “Night Moves” by Bob Seger, with whom he once toured.
White, who will play in Bradenton, Florida, this weekend, recently released his new song “It Feels Good.” Cam, meanwhile, is promoting the damn-the-consequences single “My Mistake,” which is streaming on her website now.