Fresh Takes

Blogger Ray Padgett ’09 covers the covers.

“It’s fascinating to learn about another side of a musician, how they can totally transform a song,” says Padgett, who celebrates cover songs on his music criticism blog Cover Me. Launched by the former WDCR deejay in 2007, the site tackles its subject with lists, updates from recent concerts, reviews, music videos, and nuggets such as his take on the five best covers of one song. Cover Me recently offered up its list of the top 50 cover songs of 2023. 

“Sometimes I feel like I am a defender of the cover song,” says the former music publicist, who relocated to Burlington, Vermont, from New York City in 2019. “But the ones that are great redeem the whole category for me.” He notes that musicians release more cover tunes now, thanks to digital streaming and social media. “The term ‘cover song’ is not a dirty word the way it used to be.”

Padgett published a book, Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time, in 2017. Padgett also writes about Bob Dylan—who has been covered endlessly—on his Substack blog and in his 2023 book, Pledging My Time: Conversations with Bob Dylan Band Members.

“Ray’s mastery is awesome, but he wears it so lightly,” says Cover Me features editor Patrick Robbins. “He has a way of sharing what he knows that doesn’t flaunt it so much as invite you to join him in marveling.” 

Portfolio

Alumni Books
New titles from Dartmouth writers (November/December 2023)
Fresh Takes
Blogger Ray Padgett ’09 covers the covers.
The Secret Life of the Brain

Michael Gazzaniga ’61 divulges the inner workings of the human mind. 

Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82
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