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Revitalization of a Soft Rock Classic

Album/Single: Music Live From The Pen Gala 1983

Song: Right Down The Line

Artist: Local Natives

Label: Loma Vista Recordings, Distributed by Concord


This single by Local Natives is a cover of the extremely popular Gerry Rafferty song, "Right Down The Line". A song that is one of my personal favorites and Local Natives knocked this cover out of the park. I am usually someone who likes covers to sound exactly like the original song, which I understand defeats the purpose of creativity in covers. And part of the reason I like this cover so much is that it stays very true to the original track. However, just like every cover track, they are differences that make it unique.

The first main difference I notice is in the instrumentals at the beginning. In the original version, the drums as well as other handheld percussive instruments are very clear. The electric guitar is quieter and feels very reserved but is still what creates that signature high-pitched sound. In the Local Natives version, the drums are very similar while the other handled percussion is scaled back. The electric guitar is much more prominent and audible which I think is a great move to showcase how distinguishable the riff really is.

Moving on the vocals of the songs, the lyrics of the songs are the same but the voices are very different. Rafferty has a much deeper singing voice than the lead singer of Local Natives. The pacing of the vocals in the cover is very similar to the original and I enjoy the laid back tone of the song.

Local Natives made the right choice here on what song to cover. They are a modern band with a softer rock style that employs more modern musical techniques and instrumentation. Gerry Rafferty’s music has a softer rock style as well and he is one of the many stars of the yacht rock music era. I’m sure this style of music has influenced Local Natives over the years and this cover was extremely well done.

Reviewer's Name: Ellis Laveen

Date of Review: December 16, 2021

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