One of my favorite musical discoveries of late 2009/early 2010 was the fantastic Irish troubadour James Vincent McMorrow. A few short notes into “If I Had a Boat” and I was hooked with his unique falsetto that was somewhat reminiscent of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. I still remember opening up the package shipped to me from Ireland like an expectant child on Christmas morning, overjoyed to dive headfirst into the album once I laid the ornate packaging to the side. Pretty sure that album became the soundtrack of an entire season of my life.
So despite being an early adopter of sorts with JVM’s music, I had never heard his cover of this song made famous by Willow Smith. It’s a true manifestation of the phrase “being able to sing the phone book.” I think this is proof that ole James could sing just about anything and his audience would be transfixed.
And this version from Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young and The Boss is equally fantastic: