J Mascis and Sharon Van Etten Lend John Denver's 'Prisoners' Some Pretty Gnarl

A ripping highlight from 'The Music Is in You' tribute

John Denver J Mascis Sharon Van Etten Prisoners
J Mascis, prisoner to his own amazing hair / Photo by Getty Images
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

Last week we hipped you to My Morning Jacket's tender cover of the John Denver classic "Leaving on a Jet Plane." That song arrived in order to preview April 2's The Music Is in You: A Tribute to John Denver, in which an impressively diverse array of artists put their stamp on the folk-pop legend's songbook. At first glance, the most promising title on the track list (which includes contributions from Edward Sharpe, Allen Stone, and Emmylou Harris among others) looked to be "Prisoners," a team-up between Dinosaur Jr. gnarlmeister J Mascis and ardent bookworm Sharon Van Etten. Sure enough, the collaboration is a particularly inspired pileup of burnt country twang and blackened alt-'90s guitar theatrics — which is to say it's an absolute winner. Head over to Pitchfork to hear the song with your very own ears.

And just 'cause we're feeling generous, here's Mascis covering "Jet Plane" from a 2001 Sub Pop single:


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