Bon Iver is on their first-ever tour in Australia, and yesterday Justin Vernon visited the soundstage at the Melbourne-based Triple J radio to perform a cover of folk singer Anaïs Mitchell's song "Coming Down" for the station's "Like a Version" series. Mitchell, a rising, Vermont-based folk singer signed to Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records, has recently benefitted from the blessings of the Low Anthem, and DiFranco herself (in the form of guest appearances on her 2010 record, Hadestown).
Vernon has pretty consistently championed other artists since day one, openly worshipping Bonnie Raitt, whose songs he's covered for Bon Iver 7" B-sides. He and the band also make it a point of touting friends' new releases, by artists from fellow Secretly Canadian/Dead Oceans/Jagjaguwar folk act Bowerbirds to the red-hot electro/minimalist Poliça, often via Twitter. (In effect, this habit of covers and promos makes it much easier for Bon Iver fans to see where the band — or Justin Vernon, at least — has come from, and where they're going.)
The BI guys are coming back to the states next month, just in time for their two-weekend Coachella 2012 gig. Watch Vernon perform Mitchell's "Coming Down":