[Cover photo credit to Rio Warner]
Seminal New Wave artist Josie Cotton has released a new duet single and video featuring Kevin Preston of the LA-based band Prima Donna (Wicked Cool Records) via Kitten Robot Records, “Ballad of Elvis Presley”. It ventures into new territory for both artists and embraces plenty of Rock ‘n’ Roll tradition and also features members of Blondie and Stray Cats.
Cotton comments on the Rockabilly themes and influence on the song:
I avoided rockabilly and country music like the plague growing up, probably to annoy my Mom who was the world’s biggest Tammy Wynette fan,.. But when I left Texas to come to LA and met the Paine Brothers, they schooled me in how to write a real song and we started with who else but, yep ,Tammy Wynette. It was an obvious choice to implore Kevin to be my George Jones in this song. We’ve collaborated on a lot of projects but never anything like this.
Throughout the video, Cotton and Preston time-travel their way across a musical terrain, “materializing as obsessed Elvis fans” and appearing in a cowboy musical.
Cotton explains regarding the video directed by Piper Ferguson:
We all had the feeling we were making a little movie which we shot on location in a place called Pioneertown. A lot of western movies were filmed there back in the day. The actors and musicians, the crew … everyone there wanted to be there. No one wanted it to end.
Originally written for Brian Setzer by Cotton’s longtime songwriting/producer pal Larson Paine, “Ballad of Elvis Presley” was never officially recorded until now. Cotton unearthed a cassette of the song that she thought was lost and took is as a sign to record it.
Josie’s band for the single included Clem Burke (Blondie) on drums, Lee Rocker (Stray Cats) on upright bass, Lee’s longtime guitar player Buzz Campbell, Marcus Watkins on lead guitar and Paul Roessler (Screamers, Nina Hagen) on piano.