Katey Sagal’s take on Jackson Browne’s “For a Dancer” is so delicate, it sounds like it might shatter at any moment. Sagal, who stars as the biker gang matriarch Gemma Teller Morrow on the hit show Sons of Anarchy, starts her cover with almost a whisper, building the song to its vulnerable climax. Throughout the take, both Sagal and SoA house band the Forest Rangers maintain a raw, brittle charm. The track is from Sons of Anarchy Volume 3, another compilation of songs from the show.
“Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky is an album that has been part of my life since it came out in 1974 and ‘For a Dancer’ is just an incredible song – so powerful, heartbreaking and spiritually uplifting,” Bob Thiele, composer and music supervisor for SoA, tells Rolling Stone. “It’s not an easy song to sing because the poet’s words cannot just be sung. Katey connected very deeply to it when I played it for her. It’s a song she seemed to really identify with. I was surprised she’d never heard it. Katey pretty much got this in one take. The magic, the heart and the soul – all there with the first few chords.”
SoA creator Kurt Sutter adds, “I love using Katey’s songs on the show. We usually have her cover something, but this season, her cover of ‘For a Dancer’ was a perfect fit for the opening montage in Episode 610 – sweet, sad and prophetic.”
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Sons of Anarchy Volume 3 is out December 3rd on Columbia Records and available for preorder now on iTunes.