One of the highlights of Florence and the Machine’s MTV Unplugged special is Florence Welch and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme’s inspired duet on Johnny Cash’s classic “Jackson.” You can catch a sneak peek of the performance below, in advance of the special’s debut on April 8th at 11 p.m. ET. The full Unplugged concert will be released as a live album on April 10th.
“It was one of those things where it was like a dream scenario, and you never think that they’d say yes,” Welch told Rolling Stone after the taping. The singer has been a fan of Homme since she was a teenage fan of Queens of the Stone Age, but met him when his other band, Them Crooked Vultures, appeared on several festival bills alongside Florence and the Machine. “It was like me, Lemmy and Them Crooked Vultures in this crazy festival in Sweden with a massive lake and this windy house that we all lived in, so it was like Josh Homme and Dave Grohl were like our roommates and Dizzee Rascal was our next door neighbor.”
Welch says she chose “Jackson” because “it’s been with me for a very long time,” and that it’s a nod to the early history of her band. “The first song we ever recorded was a Johnny Cash cover of ‘Folsom Prison’ in our little studio,” she recalls. “It’s the weirdest cover ever, this really weird soul version of ‘Folsom City Blues.'” Homme and Welch sound amazing together, with them putting their own spin on June Carter and Johnny Cash’s original phrasing, but Welch says there was a more visual reason for selecting Homme as her duet partner. “On a really base level, I really like that we’re both really tall and ginger.”