Colorado-based modern Americana outfit Heavy Diamond Ring recently released its spirited and intoxicating cover of "Sorry You're Sick," a song originally written and performed by the late Soul/Blues singer-songwriter and musician Ted Hawkins. This infectious cover immediately captured my attention at first listen and has been the earworm that's been bouncing around in my head the past few weeks.
Heavy Diamond Ring came to life after vocalist Sarah Anderson and songwriter-guitarist Paul DeHaven's previous band, Paper Bird, disbanded in 2017. With the addition of Blake Stepan (bass), Mike Lang (keys), and Orion Tate Ignelzi (drums), the group released their self-titled debut album in 2019.
The band's inspiration to cover "Sorry You're Sick" took shape one morning at breakfast. Sarah comments, "This is a Ted Hawkins song. I heard it while making pancakes one morning, and had it on repeat for quite some time. I love this song so much." With lyrics that speak to the desperation and lengths to which one would go in order to provide their sick or dying lover some relief, the song's soulful and upbeat vibe is in stark contrast to its weighty lyrical theme.
"What do want from the liquor store?
Something sour or something sweet?
I'll buy you all that your belly can hold.
You can be sure you won't suffer no more."
A homeless street musician who busked along the Venice Beach boadwark in the late 60's and 70's, Ted Hawkins was evetually discovered and released several critically-acclaimed albums before his untimely passing in 1995 at the age of 58. "Sorry You're Sick" was included on Ted's 1982 debut album, Watch Your Step.
For their cover version, Heavy Diamond Ring recorded "Sorry You're Sick" live in the studio with no overdubs and on two ribbon mics. Watch the enthusiastic live session video, recorded by Jakob Rosen, to take in all the magic and energy that abounds within.
For more information about Heavy Diamond Ring, follow the band on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), visit their official website, and listen to their music on Spotify, Bandcamp and Apple Music.