REVIEW: Little Lawnmowers’ Cover of Nick Drake’s ‘Road’

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West Virginia’s bossa-nova-folk hybrid act Little Lawnmowers released an impassioned, unconventional cover of cult British singer-songwriter Nick Drake’s “Road” on Saturday, February 29, just in time for the 48th anniversary of the release of the beloved album that features the original track, Pink Moon. 

Jonathan Hawkins (the vocalist, guitarist, and suitcase-drummer who performs as Little Lawnmowers) recorded the cover with the help of Chicago-based musician and actor Stephen Coakley and jazz and Latin drum specialist Keith Burgess. While the original spotlights the dappled, melancholy guitar and vocal stylings of Drake (who died tragically young at 26,) Little Lawnmowers’ take on the classic tribute to loneliness is painted in considerably warmer tones, featuring a Latin drum ensemble and lush vocal harmonies.

This style speaks to the overall sound of Little Lawnmowers’ 2019 Night Drive EP, which is opulent and complex, yet driven by ear-catching, straightforward melodies. You can hear the EP, as well as “Road,” now on Spotify and Apple Music.

Little Lawnmowers will be performing on Thursday, March 5 at Casa Nueva in Athens and on Saturday, March 7 at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews in Huntington.