A brief note about a version of “SJI” I would like to have heard, despite the description. This NYT writeup concerns a band called Delta Spirit, performing at Piano’s, in New York.
At Pianos the group briefly featured guest vocals by Gordon Gano, formerly of the Violent Femmes, whose take on warped Americana bears some relevance to the Delta Spirit sound. Mr. Gano seemed stranded on “St. James Infirmary Blues” but fully at home on “Add It Up,” one of his old band’s best-loved tunes.
It’s true that I have a hard time imagining Gordon Gano doing “SJI.” But I guess that’s why I wish could hear it!
Update: Well, thanks to the comment below I am now aware that what seems to be a clip from the very gig reviewed by the NYT is available on YouTube. Here then, below, is Gano doing “SJI.” Or, really, he’s dueting it with Delta Spirit’s singer. (I guess it’s part of their repertoire, another clip of them performing the song is here.) Anyway the reviewer is right, Gano does seem a good deal less than confident, but in fairness it also seems that he’s very much operating on the fly here. He really just sings the “Let her go” section, so mostly what he’s doing is just standing there. At one point, invited with a gesture to chime in again, he leans over to the mic and says, “You know all the words!” Finally he chimes in with some sort of random scream-scats at the very end. I don’t know — I think it’s a little unfair to say he’s “lost.” But you can see what you think, here: