This year marked the 50th anniversary of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ beloved 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. In celebration of the landmark release and Stevens’ legendary career as a whole, a number of musicians gathered virtually for the CatSong Festival livestream tribute.
Jack Johnson opened the event at the 00:40 mark with his rendition of “Where Do the Children Play”, followed by HAIM doing an at-home performance of “Hard Headed Woman” (03:18). Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd delivered his cover of “Wild World” as something of a fully-produced music video at 07:13, and Feist reprised her “Trouble” cover (13:38), which she’d previously unveiled as part of Justin Vernon’s For Wisconsin get out the vote campaign. Later, Dave Matthews played a heartwarming take of “Father and Son” around the 56:01 mark.
Other participants included Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy doing “But I Might Die Tonight” (20:31), Passenger singing “Father and Son” (25:04), Matt Costa covering “If You Want to Sing, Sing Out” (53:02), former Artist of the Month Sen Morimoto putting his spin on the Tea for the Tillerman title track (1:48:22), and Sad13 delivering a rendition of “Trouble” (2:06:29).
“It’s great to see and hear these covers of my songs given new life,” Stevens said in a statement. “There’s no better honour for a songwriter than to have his songs performed by talented musicians with such love and sincerity. Thank you.”
Watch the entirety of the CatSong Festival below.