On paper, it looks like the most unlikely pairing of voices in the most unlikely of genres for the most unlikely approach to a tribute record we’ve ever heard of. But it’s actually these unlikelihoods surrounding Billie Joe Armstrong’s teaming with Norah Jones on Foreverly that might just make it work.
In the late 1950s, the Everly Brothers were established hitmakers, making their mark on the burgeoning rock scene by redefining the parameters of 2-part harmony. But unbeknownst to many, Don and Phil Everly actually owed their signature style in part to the music of the Appalachians, where they grew up. To that end, in 1958, they made a brief departure from rock & roll to record Songs Our Father Taught Us, a country album that was in itself a tribute to the brother’s Tennessee musical roots. The songs on the albums weren’t just a departure in style for the duo, but in content, as well—laden with the themes of death, lust, murder, imprisonment and similar darker themes so common in the lyrics of mountain music.
It’s this record, the anomaly in the Every Brothers’ discography, that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong decided to tribute—and not just to do a tribute to the Everly Brothers, but to the record itself, by re-recording the whole thing, song by song. In yet another twist, the punk singer tapped jazzy vocal songstress Norah Jones for the harmonies. These are the unlikely circumstances that form the foundation for Foreverly, which is set for release next week.
The thing is, based on the teaser single “That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine” (streamed below), this idea really works. Armstrong and Jones blend very well together, and their emotional delivery definitely does justice to the signature Everly sound. If this is indicative of the rest of the album—and there’s no reason to believe it shouldn’t be—Foreverly will be an album worth picking up. Have a listen!