When people cover The Boss, the majority somehow trend toward ‘I’m On Fire’. And with good reason: it’s a hauntingly bare ballad about being in love with someone you can’t have, and it stands out against Springsteen’s other, super-amped up rockers. It’s easy to tire of all the reinterpretations, but hear us out.
KaiL Baxley keeps the essence of the song’s train-a-rollin’ rhythm in his slowed down guitar acoustics, but replaces the ghostly synth melody with a heavily reverbed pedal steel. It could almost be a different song, but for Baxley’s freakish vocal resemblance to Springsteen.
The cover takes on a western campfire vibe, and the unbeatable acoustics at Hollywood Studio let you hear everything, from Baxley’s breaths between verses to those squeaking noise the guitar strings make when he changes chords. It all makes the song that much more human – a difficult feat.
KaiL Baxley will be performing at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, tomorrow night, September 12th.