Back in 1943, Woody Guthrie garnered some serious attention by painting an ambitious message on his acoustic guitar: “this machine kills fascists“. Fast forward about four score to the present year and a different global conflict, where a new generation of musicians are picking up where Woody left off. Take for instance, New York’s Jesse Malin, whose 2010 crowd pleaser “All the Way From Moscow” makes a passing reference to Gogol Bordello’s Ukrainian-born frontman, Eugene Hütz. Hütz on the other hand, teamed up with Billy Strings and Les Claypool last month for a tribute to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky entitled, “The Man With The Iron Balls”.
But just like how Woody Guthrie’s songs have provided timely commentary well after his passing, sometimes revamping a classic track can make more of a statement than working up something entirely new. Hütz and Malin had already bonded over a mutual adoration for The Pogues in the early days of their friendship, which led them to revisit the title track of 1988’s If I Should Fall from Grace with God. The lyrics are obviously still up for interpretation, but considering that the proceeds from this Bandcamp exclusive benefit The US-Ukraine Foundation, we have a feeling we know where their heads are at. All politics aside, “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” is a passionate, 21st century reimagining of The Pogues perfect for longtime fans or newcomers.