American singer/songwriter and guitarist Jim James just released a video of himself covering The Beatles’ “The Inner Light,” using a banjo instead of a sitar, an interesting choice considering the original Beatles recording utilizes instrumentation from eastern musical styles, according to Brooklyn Vegan. Although the banjo may seem like a vast contradiction to the original instrumentation, the sharp tone actually sounds very similar to the sitar, while showcasing James’ own originality as an artist, as well as his ability to stay true to the original recording.
James did not just put out his rendition of “The Inner Light,” but also will raise money for The Inner Light Challenge, which the late George Harrison’s Material World Foundation launched to help raise money to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Material World’s website released a statement, saying, “The Material World Foundation, created by George Harrison in 1973, is today donating $500,000 to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Save the Children, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) charities, which are providing much needed aid and care during this COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Without going out of my door, I can know all things on earth. Without looking out of my window, I can know the ways of heaven.’ Olivia Harrison said, “These lyrics sung by George are a positive reminder to all of us who are isolating, in quarantine or respecting the request to shelter in place. Let’s get and stay connected at this difficult time. There are things we can do to help and we invite you to share your Inner Light.”
James also made sure to include in the description of his video the details of The Inner Light challenge, and urged his fans to play or sing along to the song to continue to raise money to fight the pandemic. “Take some time to sit with the lyrics and really take them in they are so helpful and healing in this strange time,” wrote James, “Sing it, play it, hum it, strum it, paint it, chant it or meditate to share the love. Look inside and see what you can find.”
In a time of such uncertainty, it is comforting to see musicians and artists from around the world do what they can to help fight the spread of the virus. So many artists have performed virtual live concerts for their fans, or have released videos of themselves in an effort to raise money to stop the spread of the disease.
Check out Jim James playing his rendition of The Beatles “The Inner Light” below:
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hello friends- here is my cover of “the inner light” one of my all time favorite songs by george. take some time to sit with the lyrics and really take them in they are so helpful and healing in this strange time. Join The Inner Light Challenge by sharing a verse, chorus, or line from this Beatles song and post it with the hashtag #innerlight2020 to help raise an additional $100,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sing it, play it, hum it, strum it, paint it, chant it or meditate to share the love. Look inside and see what you can find. Please go here for more information: materialworldfoundation.com