In the year and a half since local guitarist and super producer Adrian Quesada opened Level One Sound in January 2015, it’s grown into a hot spot for cutting edge Austin music. To celebrate, this month Quesada is releasing a collection of cover songs called “Live at Level One.” The full collection, over 15 songs deep, includes diverse selections from the likes of Prince, Mazzy Star, Marty Robbins and Nas, covered by Texas artists like Money Chicha, Third Root and Croy and the Boys.
The covers are reinterpretations Quesada created in collaboration with the artists. “They were all recorded in a day or less, sometimes in a couple of hours, as live as possible – spontaneous and relaxed,” Quesada says. “The idea was to have some fun, show off some influences and the aesthetic ‘vibe’ of the studio.”
He’ll be releasing live streams of the songs one at a time this month, with plans to release the full collection as a download later this fall. Austin360 is proud to premiere the first single, a sinister take on the blues classic “Baby Please Don’t Go” from Austin singers Jazz Mills and Stephanie Hunt.
“I saw (Jazz Mills) and Stephanie Hunt play live once and they did this song where they were just clapping and singing, with no band….and i loved how sparse and it was and told them i’d love to do some stuff like that,” Quesada says. “I heard this weird cover of one of the most covered songs in history and thought they would sound great together on it.”
The interpretation is haunting, transforming the song’s familiar lover’s plea into an ominous warning about the soul stealing peril that lurks on the road “way back to New Orleans.”