The lost Bon Iver album?
It’s been about 24 hours since Justin Vernon of Bon Iver visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, which will appear as a b-side on the “Calgary” single.
It was a great, intimate, simple piano-accompanied performance. And in truth, not much of Bon Iver’s catalog could have predicted it, except for one full-length album which has gone some two years largely unnoticed by some of Vernon’s biggest fans.
Ten years after graduating from Memorial High in his home state of Wisconsin, Vernon returned to play alongside the school jazz band in a fundraising show. More than just a feel-good story, the 2009 release “A Decade with the Duke” boasts several highlights. We hear a wonderful Will Ferrell-esque jazz flute solo at the end of “Lump Sum”; we get to hear the more-than-capable horns of the MHS jazz band back a bluesy Vernon on tracks like “Since I Fell For You”; and at the end, we get treated to an emotional cover of Mahalia Jackson’s “Satisfied” that the fragility of Vernon’s falsetto makes invaluable. Vernon actually mentions (what one can safely assume to be) the Jackson cover as influencing his frequent use of falsetto midway through the Fallon interview. In short, it’s a great eight-song collection:
1. Lump Sum
2. Rocks in My Bed
4. Miss Otis Regrets
5. For Emma
6. Lady is a Tramp
7. Since I Fell for You
For a physical copy of the album, you’ll probably have to journey up to Eau Claire. Luckily, you can purchase the mp3 album at any number of digital retailers.
Watch: A live (unsteady) recording of “Satisfied”
Watch: Most of “Lump Sum” (including the aforementioned flute solo)