So after writing up the Paul McCartney – Loma Mar Quartet connection the other day, there he was on the tube last night, as part of the WGBH “Beatle Month” of programming. Last night was a re-airing of the 2010 Gershwin Prize Concert for McCartney, held at the East Room of the White House in 2010 – with an additional concert at the famed (and tiny) Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, which administers the prize on behalf of the Gershwin estate. (That’s where the footage of “Yesterday” was shot.)
A dizzying (and somewhat baffling) array of special guests sang and played Macca tunes before the honoree and the First Family, including Stevie Wonder, the Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl (an uncanny ability to channel McCartney’s high tenor in “Band on the Run”), and even pianist Lang Lang.
But my hands-down favorite interpretation of the night came from Emmylou Harris, who managed to turn “For No One” into a convincing Appalachian ballad: