Tattletale Saints – Carmelita: Cover Song Of The Day

The Tattletale Saints have just released their version of Warren Zevon’s Carmelita. It will appear on the duo’s upcoming album, In The Summertime. And there is a NZ tour in March!

The Tattletale Saints are Vanessa McGowen and Cy Winstanley, two Kiwis based in Nashville. Here’s the lowdown on Carmelita, In The Summertime and NZ tour dates:

“Initially, what drew me to Zevon were the stories that surrounded him: this lone wolf, obsessive about sex, the color grey and general excess; a man revered in the upper echelons of 70’s Hollywood for his songs, musicianship and character. I read his biography ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ and became more and more enthralled, learning about his just-out-of-the-spotlight career and his numerous struggles.
Then came the songs, these amazing creations with oddball themes of headless soldiers and cannibalism, to lonesome etchings about love and his own demise from illness. His lyrical specificity and general word play is all his own: place names, the hum of the air conditioner, and of course the best line ever: ‘little old lady got mutilated late last night’ (From Werewolves of London).
We started playing Carmelita, one of his better known songs (thanks to Linda Ronstadt), sometime around 2012. The rhumba groove has always been a fav of ours and catching those triplets at the end of the chorus always feels so good. @pahmerhey did a great job on the organ and Mariachi trumpet and @jordanperlson (drums) gave the rhumba the perfect pacing.
I went to Ensenada, Mexico just before this recording. As I wandered through the streets I thought of Warren and this desperate character that pines for Carmelita. I don’t think the speaker is entirely based on him, but I do think much of the tale is a reflection of him, like so many of his characters.”

Expat Americana duo Tattletale Saints return home in March to celebrate the release of their new album, In the Summertime, out on March 3rd.

On the 2023 release, Cy Winstanley (vocals/guitar) and Vanessa McGowan (vocals/bass) dive deep into old set lists, with fresh takes of everything from old country traditionals and bluegrass to reggae and 70’s pop.

Bill Monroe famously declared you couldn’t tell if a band was any good unless you heard them play something you already knew. On their new album, the Saints take the father of bluegrass to heart with a collection of cover songs that celebrate the diverse sound audiences have been falling in love with since the band’s first New Zealand tour in 2010.

The Auckland-born duo moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2014 and have built flourishing careers as session players in Music City. Individually, they tour and record with various Americana and country acts, and together for multi-Grammy nominated artist Brandy Clark.

Tattletale Saints won the Aotearoa Music Award for Folk in 2014 and 2021, plus a nomination for Silver Scroll in 2013. The 2023 New Zealand tour also celebrates the vinyl release of Dancing Under The Dogwoods, released in 2020 and the winner of the 2021 Aotearoa Music Award.

March NZ Tour Dates

4 Saturday Kohukohu Soundgarden (tickets)

5 Sunday Auckland The Tuning Fork (tickets)

8 Wednesday Taupo The Storehouse (tickets)

9 Thursday Palmerston North The Globe (tickets)

10 Friday Whanganui Gonville Town Hall (tickets)

11 Saturday Pauatahanui The Morgans Clubhouse (tickets)

12 Sunday Takaka Mussel Inn (tickets)

13 Monday Christchurch Space Academy (tickets)

14 Tuesday Oamaru The Grainstore Gallery (tickets)

16 Thursday Invercargill Southland Musicians Club (tickets)

17 Friday Wanaka Luggate Hall (tickets)

18 Saturday Barrytown Barrytown Hall (tickets)

19 Sunday Nelson Fairfield House (tickets)

22 Hawkes Bay The Old Dairy Factory (tickets)

23 Thursday Gisborne Smash Palace (tickets)

24 Friday Katikati Katikati Folk Club (tickets)

25 Saturday Coromandel Hauraki House Theatre (tickets)

26 Sunday Leigh Sawmill Cafe (tickets)

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