Jim James Lays Down Great Stevie Wonder Cover

I heard this one the other day and I can’t get it out of my head. Jim James doesn’t come quickly to mind when you think of artists likely to cover Stevie Wonder, but he delivers a fantastic rendition of “Love’s In Need Of Love Today”, a truly beautiful song whose message, sadly, seems more important today than it ever has.

James’ sweet crooning is the first single from Songs from Lahore, the companion soundtrack to a documentary of the same name. It chronicles the struggles of the Sachal Ensemble, a group of Pakistani musicians who have risked death in their homeland simply for playing any music at all. They are forced to practice in secret because they live in a conservative part of the country where music is considered “a sin against God”.

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The musicians made a pilgrimage to the States not only for safety, but also to show “the entire world that Pakistanis are artists, not terrorists”. Once here, they made a series of musical collaborations in addition to this Jim James track, and they include Wilco’s Nels Cline, Sean Lennon, Wynton Marsalis, Bilal, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. And alongside the Stevie Wonder number, songs by Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Michael Jackson, George Harrison and Nina Simone are also covered.

For his part, Jim James issued a statement about the collaboration:

I was honored to be asked to sing after being so moved hearing the instrumental Sachal version of one of my favorite songs of all time, ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today’. I feel like it speaks so beautifully to Stevie’s original message of hope, acceptance and love … and keeps it going in a fresh direction … from a completely different background yet still speaking that same message of love that we all need to hear so badly in these confusing times … Yes — love is in need of love today, and luckily there are people on the earth like Stevie Wonder and the Sachal Ensemble here to help spread that love and remind us that we are all united.

Amen, and Peace and Love to All.






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