In the age of COVID, we’ve become inundated with covers. It seems like every excellent metal musician in the world has taken this downtime to stop and think, Man, I always wanted to cover ______, but we never had enough studio time before. That said, there are cool covers, and then there are covers that push you back in your seat with their power. One such cover rendition is the new version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” performed by Light The Torch frontman and former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones.
As you’ll see below, Jones’ version of this classic rock track, recorded for the sci-fi podcast The Oyster, gives the song a somberness and almost spiritual heft that the original, while great, trades for a southern rock vibe. It also feels appropriate that this was recorded for a sci-fi podcast, as the track is reminiscent of the many quiet, solemn versions of rock songs that are played in the backgrounds of video game ads right now. Unlike Skynyrd’s version, Jones’ cover really focuses on the heartfelt, human side of this track — which, in the world we currently live it, feels poetic and important. Much of what the last year has taught us is that the breakneck hustle we’ve all been living under isn’t the most healthy way of life, and maybe we all need to take a moment and think about what’s truly important.
There is, however, one big problem with Howard Jones’ cover of “Simple Man” — it’s only the one verse and chorus! We want the whole song! Hopefully, the popularity of this shortened version inspires Jones and his band to perform a full cover of “Simple Man,” which we can then listen to while driving around in 2021 and watching bare-branch trees pass by outside our car windows, like so many days of this bleak existence. Do it, Howard! Make our lives an independent movie!
Check out Howard Jones’ cover of “Simple Man” below:
Words by Chris Krovatin