Nov 152011

Josh Groban

I was flipping channels last night when I saw that there was going to be some Neil Young tribute on Palladia. This seemedl ike a godsend of television programming for your Philadelphia-born, sports-starved Moderator. I’d just watched the final 10 minutes of a Flyers’ hockey game (8 more minutes of hockey than I usually watch in one sitting), and the prospect of watching the Flyboys’ postgame show until I could get to the local sports-news coverage of the Jonathan Papelbon press conference was not enticing. Watching Neil Young and friends celebrate his long, interesting career was a much better option…or so I figured…

Maybe this isn’t news to you, but I flipped over to Palladia just in time to see the Josh Groban, the modern-day Jim Nabors (Singer Jim Nabors, that is), perform Young’s “Harvest Moon.” It was weird. Initially I blamed it on Canada, but a quick glance at Groban’s Wikipedia entry put that thought to rest.


  46 Responses to “Modern-Day Jim Nabors Sings Neil Young”

  1. O, for the love of God I implore all of you: DO NOT HIT PLAY!


  2. I’m probably not going to listen to this, but last year I heard Groban’s version of Nick Cave’s “Straight to You,” from an album produced by, wait for it, Rick Rubin.

  3. BigSteve

    A few years ago Randy Newman tried doing an online journal for his European tour. Here is the Entry for February 11, 2004:


    I just heard on Klassic Radio the worst record I’ve ever heard.

    Here’s a hint: It’s Josh Groban’s rendition of Don McLean’s “Vincent”.

  4. That whole concert doesn’t sound all that hot, barring a few exceptions.

    Secret fact: All the best Neil Young covers are by R&B artists: Merry Clayton’s “Southern Man,” The Isleys’ “Ohio,” The Meters’ “Birds.”

  5. misterioso

    Well, despite RaoulG’s sensible warning, I hit play. Ok, so here’s where I show how out of touch I am again: Who is this guy Josh Groban? And, more importantly, is he trying to make me laugh?

    This is probably where I should say again that pretty much all of these tribute things suck big time.

  6. misterioso

    Silly me: I had to check to see if Elvis Costello was part of it. Duh.

  7. In other dubious tribute news… The 30th (??!!) Annual John Lennon Tribute Live from the Beacon Theatre NYC

    It’s also streaming at this week.

  8. misterioso

    By the way, Mod, as much as Papelbon was a damn good closer here for several years, I won’t miss his particular brand of good ol’ boy charm.

  9. misterioso

    I just listened to about 2.5 seconds of Joan Osborne (!) doing “Hey Bulldog” (!!). What the? What if God was a concept like one of us, just a bulldog like one of us….

  10. I have not liked that guy in all his years with the Red Sox, misterioso. This is really going to try my fandom. Hopefully he’ll be good enough that I can suck it up and admire his saves.

  11. tonyola

    I think I’d rather hear Billy Joel sing this song. He certainly can do no worse than Josh.

  12. misterioso

    How about a nice duet?

  13. I am actually grateful that the trippingly derivative wording of this tread’s title has dislodged Groban from inside my head and firmly replaced it with “Tom Sawyer.” Any port in a storm, they say


  14. mockcarr

    If ever there were a case of ignorance is bliss…

  15. mockcarr

    I think Ohio could be a pretty good soul cover, but what do I know?

  16. tonyola

    Please, no. I just finished lunch a little while ago.

  17. mockcarr

    Well, Goahh-Leeee-eh?

  18. tonyola

    Maybe it has already been done at RTH, but this article inspires an idea for a new thread:

    Has there ever been a genuinely good tribute concert?

  19. tonyola

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!

  20. What a lovely tribute to Neil! He must me thrilled. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see if I can convince my wife to renew our vows so that we can use this for our first dance.

  21. I don’t recall such a thread, but I seem to remember the George Harrison memorial show being good. Didn’t Prince dazzle in the finale on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” while the world got it’s first look at George’s son Dhani on acoustic guitar? McCartney played “Something” on the ukelele. Petty was solid, as usual…

  22. tonyola

    I do agree that the Concert for George was pretty good overall. Prince wasn’t there though – he played on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s tribute to George in 2004. Perhaps the Concert for George show was as good as it was because the artists involved actually had some connection with Harrison.

  23. Yeah, I was afraid I’d confused Prince’s appearance with something else. I turned away from that Groban Sings Young thing in a flash, but I’m stunned that he was not the only misfit artist to cover Neil Young songs. Of all artists being paid tribute to I would have thought he’d attract a sympathetic crowd of performers. I guess his publishers organized the event.

  24. diskojoe

    I was kinda shocked about how much Paps got w/the Phillies. Don’t you guys need bats that can hit, as the playoffs proved?

  25. Yes, we do.

  26. Yes, Madson had few chances to shine in the playoffs this year. There are no saves without 9th-inning leads. The 102 regular-season wins, however, were helped by the Phils’ better-than-average bullpen.

  27. He strikes me as a guy who really just wanted to get paid and get out of Boston. It will be fun to root against him when all you Philly fans come down here for Nats games. We could have a little RTH gathering down here next summer.

  28. I enjoyed the Gram Parsons tribute concert that Keef was involved in a few years ago. I have the DVD somewhere. Steve Earle, Lucinda, Dwight, and the always classy Jim Lauderdale were involved.

    Norah Jones actually lets Keef touch her in this clip.

  29. That’s a great idea! I hope our baseball differences don’t lead to trouble in the stands, though.

  30. This was never broadcast or released, but the SWSX tribute to Alex Chilton a few days after he died had some good, heartfelt performances from John Doe, Mike Mills, Chris Stamey and others.

  31. misterioso

    Concert for George is about the only exception I could think of. I thought it was rather good.

  32. misterioso

    Right, but seriously: who is this guy?

  33. BigSteve

    A heart throb for women of a certain age. Sort of a contemporary Robert Goulet.

  34. hrrundivbakshi

    Couple of things:

    1. 80% of the blame here can be laid at Neil Young’s feet for writing such a lazy-ass, lite beer, comfort-fit waistband, royalty check-craving, peanut-studded turd of a song. As far as I’m concerned, Groban’s interpretation was *perfect*.

    2. The Burt Bacharach tribute concert was okay. Biggest surprise of the evening was Wynona Juggs doing “Anyone Who Had a Heart.”

    3. Vince Gill doing “Surf’s Up” for the Brian Wilson tribute was a showstopper as well. Not sure I can think of anybody else who could sing that thing. Vince Gill is for real.

  35. cliff sovinsanity

    1. Neil has earned the right to return to well once in a while for a paycheck.

  36. cliff sovinsanity

    …return to the well…

  37. I like the song “Harvest Moon” a lot, but I enjoy your take on the situation! I will also be chucking about “Wynona Juggs” for long than a grown man should chuckle.

  38. ladymisskirroyale

    I’m with you misterioso. I just asked Mr. Royale, “Who’s this Josh Groban?” and his response was, “Oh, god!”

  39. ladymisskirroyale

    Um, I think it was like our 3rd dance.
    Our 10th anniversary is next year, so if any of you know truly inspired covers of “Nuages” by Django Reinhardt and “Cheek to Cheek” by Irving Berlin, we have a triple threat.

  40. great choices but were they the Josh Groben versions?

    To clarify: I’m with the Mod, I like Neil’s version.

  41. misterioso

    There must be a name for this phenomenon: yesterday I don’t think I’d heard of this guy, today I read a review of his concert in the New York Times The reviewer seems to take a “the men don’t know but the middle-aged women understand” approach. Could be.

  42. 2000 Man

    Wow, that guys sucks! When he started singing, I started laughing. I thought it must have been a joke. But it kept going and I started to feel sad, so I had to bail.

  43. I saw the “Memphis version” of this gig. We had a few of Memphis crew on hand (folks like Van Duren). Biggest surprise? Superdrag’s John Davis! I don’t know alot about Superdrag, but that dude had a GREAT energy that he brought to the proceedings. There was alot of love for Chilton inthe air.


  44. I have this DVD, I need to pull it out. I remember enjoying it.


  45. Jesus Christus, can this post not be removed from the archives? Are two days not long enough to qualify as “archives”? Then can this not be removed PERIOD?! For the love of God, Mod-tresor, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!


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