The Lumineers And Gregory Alan Isakov Cover Each Other For Dualtone's 20th : World Cafe On Amerikinda: 20 Years Of Dualtone — a new compilation celebrating the Nashville label — The Lumineers cover "Caves" by Gregory Alan Isakov, while Isakov covers The Lumineers' own "Salt and the Sea."
NPR logo Listen: The Lumineers And Gregory Alan Isakov Cover Each Other's Songs

Listen: The Lumineers And Gregory Alan Isakov Cover Each Other's Songs

Gregory Alan Isakov (left) and The Lumineers cover one another's work on Amerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone, a new compilation celebrating the Nashville label's artists and alums. Rebecca Caridad/Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Rebecca Caridad/Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artists

Gregory Alan Isakov (left) and The Lumineers cover one another's work on Amerikinda: 20 Years of Dualtone, a new compilation celebrating the Nashville label's artists and alums.

Rebecca Caridad/Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artists

Nashville-based label Dualtone Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a special collection of songs called Amerikinda: 20 Years Of Dualtone. The compilation album is being released on Aug. 6, and features Dualtone artists and alumni including The Lumineers, Brett Dennen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mt. Joy, Hayes Carll, Shovels & Rope, Langhorne Slim and others, all covering each other's songs in celebration of the label's landmark birthday.

Dualtone was co-founded in 2001 by Scott Robinson and Dan Herrington, who were joined by Paul Roper (president and partner) soon after. The label's first release was A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC by Hayseed Dixie, and since then, Dualtone has released over 200 albums, garnered Americana Music Association award nominations, multiple Grammy nominations and four Grammy wins. Its roster of albums includes a who's who of Americana heritage artists, and the label has been instrumental in giving a platform to many new artists over the years.

Today, World Cafe premieres two songs from the new collection: The Lumineers' cover of "Caves," originally by Gregory Alan Isakov, and Isakov's cover of The Lumineers' own "Salt and the Sea." In an email to World Cafe about the latter, Isakov writes:

"The Lumineers have been our friends and local comrades here in Colorado for years, and when Wes [Schultz] sent me the premaster of their last record, I was instantly drawn into every song. The song 'Salt and the Sea' particularly spoke to me, lyrically, along with that haunting melody. I collaborated with my bandmate Steve Varney to pluck out Jeremiah's piano part with clawhammer banjo. What a beautiful song. I hope we did it justice."

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The Lumineers' 2012 signing to Dualtone on a one-album deal led the label to become a powerful force in Nashville circles, thanks in part to the massive hit "Ho Hey." Since its self-titled debut, the band has continued to work with Dualtone, releasing two additional albums including 2019's III. Member Jeremiah Fraites says of the early days, "When we started touring in our 15-passenger van, we used to park at the venue and bide our time until it was time to load in. We didn't have money for hotels and we'd usually be splitting Subway sandwiches or Clif Bars between us. I'll never forget when Paul Roper showed up to the parking lot behind the venue in Nashville and met us with beer and pizza. It was a small gesture on his side, but a massive one to us. I'll never forget that."

For Amerikinda, The Lumineers chose to cover Gregory Alan Isakov's "Caves" from his 2018 album Evening Machines, offering a version that's more tender and stripped down than Isakov's heavy-leaning original. About their cover, Lumineers lead singer Wesley Schultz says:

"We've known Gregory Alan Isakov since probably 2012 or 2013. We went on a tour with him then, got to see him play every night, and he just has this amazing presence on stage. He sings from the heart, his band is so dynamic, and his songwriting is just powerful. We've been friends ever since. I went and saw him at Red Rocks on the Evening Machines tour, and it blew me away. We covered his song 'Caves' off that same album because I just remember seeing that at Red Rocks and being totally crushed in the best of ways by it."

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Amerikinda: 20 Years Of Dualtone is available Aug. 6. See the full list of songs and contributors below:

1) Wild Child, "My Favorite Picture Of You" (Guy Clark)
2) Mt. Joy, "Ain't No Reason" (Brett Dennen)
3) The Wild Reeds, "Younger Days" (Mt. Joy)
4) Gregory Alan Isakov, "Salt And The Sea" (The Lumineers)
5) The Lumineers, "Caves" (Gregory Alan Isakov)
6) Angie McMahon, "Tea, Milk & Honey" (Oh Pep!)
7) Langhorne Slim, "Stubborn Love" (The Lumineers)
8) Brett Dennen, "Life Is Confusing" (Langhorne Slim)
9) Drew & Ellie Holcomb, "Keep On The Sunny Side" (June Carter Cash)
10) Ivan & Alyosha, "Let Your Heart Hold Fast" (Fort Atlantic)
11) The Lone Bellow, "O' Be Joyful" (Shovels & Rope)
12) Shakey Graves, "Cheers" (The Wild Reeds)
13) Shovels & Rope, "Dearly Departed" (Shakey Graves)
14) Hayes Carll, "Worry B Gone" (Guy Clark)
15) Radney Foster, "Riding With Private Malone" (David Ball)