Eva Cassiday Blew Me Away with her cover of Wayfaring Stranger....

It caught me by surprise to have my eyes already closed (because of work stress), sitting at my desk with a glass of bourbon.  I was cleaning junk up and Wayfaring Stranger comes on by Eva Cassiday, and I had no idea for a moment who was singing the song.  I was just listening without active listening. 

Well, I was grooving to her movements on this and I thought her tone was big, warm and bold with gobs and gobs of soul.  Wow.  It woke me up from some stress to experience a moment.  That's pretty great.  

Is Eva Cassidy worth a deeper dive?  I'm only superficially familiar with her and find her talented, if not a touch easy listening at times.  I can dig that.  Is her catalog diverse in sound scape and production? 

At any rate, what a version of Wayfaring Stranger, and it just so happens to be a  superb recording to boot!


Eva is magnificent and definitely worth exploring.  Try "Live at Blues Alley" for your next listen.  Unfortunately her catalog is not large as she died at a young age a number of years ago.

Thank you. I’ll get to that album next!

I was researching her today and saw she died at 33, was it?

+1 on LBA ... incredible talent.  "Falling Leaves," another favorite.  SQ of live album commendable!

I recommend "Live At Blues Alley", "Night Bird" and "The Best Of Eva Cassidy". All of her albums are good!

She was an incredible talent. With a unique voice. She died from melanoma - highly malignant skin cancer.

There are many tributes. Here is a recent one: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/nov/02/eva-cassidy-singer-songbird-25-years

I would add Songbird to the list of albums worth hearing. Most of the albums were released posthumously, but some of them are not very good as her unreleased and archived material is mined. Live at Blues Alley is my favorite. It was recorded just before her death. 

Eva Cassidy is great, and recording quality of all her stuff wonderful!. You should also check out Patricia Barber, I sort of always equate the two, wonderful music, perhaps a bit more on jazz side of things, again just simply great recording quality.


Listened to Patricia's rendition of 'The Beat Goes On,' from 'Companion' album last listening session, just awesome.

So "Live At Blues Alley", and the extended version "Night Bird" are incredibly good records and captured an incredible moment in time. If you are interested in Eva Cassidy and the live session, check out the documentary linked below:


She has one of the most beautifully inspiring voices of all time.  "Tall Trees in Georgia" is a favorite from her "Live at Blues Alley".  A real loss to music with her passing at such a young age.

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Nightbird for sure ! An interpreter of wide scope. Lost to this world but if there is singing in heaven, i expect a crowd around her !



Live at Blues Alley just was released last week on 45rpm, first time on vinyl. I haven't had a chance to A/B vs. my digital version, but definitely a great album in either format. 

One interesting tidbit in that documentary is that Mick Fleetwood was a big fan and tried to help her get more recognition. Cheers,


Is Eva Cassidy worth a deeper dive?


Besides the other great albums already mentioned, try her "Simply Eva" album - solo guitar - she sounds sublime on this one too.

Thank you everyone!  She was an amazing talent. Wow.  She sings a blues so effortlessly.  It's really something.  

She is/was wonderful. Another singer who still remains below the radar is Googie Coppola. The album is Air by the band of the same name. It was reissued a few years ago, and though some aspects of the original pressing are better the reissue is very good sounding. She also has the magic. (the band worked with Herbie Mann and included some very seasoned players). She also passed away and never achieved the fame she deserves. 


Bill Hart

In my humble opinion, she is one of the few artists that actually sounds better on her live cuts than on her studio cuts.

Eva...Just carries me away!. whart, are you the same Bill Hart who plays regularly at The Velvet Note in Atlanta? Feels good to have you listening as well as playing so well.

A little off topic..but it's just a shame that Eva's melanoma had progressed to the point where it was fatal.  Like many cancers, Melanoma is very treatable and survivable  if caught in time.  It's important  to get a regular dermatologist exam--Annually,  beginning in your mid 20s is generally recommended.  Because of Covid, I put off a derm exam last year but finally did it on an impulse. A large melanoma was discovered. It required outpatient surgery but was totally removed.I thought of Eva while going through this and hope this lesson isn't lost on others.

@wolverine1 , Thank you for veering a bit off topic! You are correct. I have skipped a few years and need to go in with my Irish-English pale skin. 

I'm guilty of giving her not enough attention before.  That is my mistake and my loss.  Wow. She was a natural talent.  

I play music but am only average.  I can learn a lot of stuff with hard and focused practicing.  I've learned to sing way better than I should be able to.  There's no way on earth I could ever even hit notes with body that she does and still mean it.  I'm bowing down in appreciation.  I wish she lived for my selfish love of music.  Thank you Eva Cassidy. 

On another thread on another site someone asked for cover songs that were better than the original. My response was something along the lines of “Anything by Eva Cassidy”.  Dive as deep as you can. She’s phenomenal. 

@jbhiller  - Not trying to distract from the point of this thread (Eva Cassidy), but just curious. What were you listening to when you heard this? Radio Paradise, Spotify? Radio? Who's playing music like this? Curated or algorithm? Curious...

jbhiller, have a listen to her rendition of 'Over the Rainbow'.  And everything else.

I honestly didn’t know she was dead. Damn. Now I gotta listen to some Eva to cheer me up, but then it’ll just make me sad again that she is gone.

As an aside, I worked at a huge record store back East in the 1980’s and a kid around 14 came up to me and asked me why there weren’t any newer records out for Janis Joplin. I had to break the news to him and the sad look on his face was just heart breaking. Thanks guys for doing the same, breaking my heart.

@condosound -sorry to disappoint, but I'm not an active musician. Retired copyright lawyer from NYC, now living in Austin where I teach and write (about music, among other things). Thanks for asking. 


@reubent , Good question.  I use Roon.  I built, per Roon's own directions (to the letter) a Roon Rock out of an Intel NUC CPU.  The total cost with RAM is about $300--wait, we are in an inflationary market!--I think I paid about $300 or so.  

The Roon Rock, which just uses a fast little CPU box you buy.  It's about 4" X 5".  It runs in Linus (I think, but cannot recall).  It's sole job is to run only two things--whatever it needs to boot up and communicate generally with you and Roon's software.  That means it's incredibly fast and strong.  It's the computer the size of 3 decks of cards (and an inch here or there) stacked on top of each other. 

So, How I heard the song by Eva C?  When Roon finishes an album I play it will run Roon Radio and try to match the vibe of your recent plays.  It allows you to have input if you want.  I do spend a good bit of time listening to female vocalists.  Some in jazz, some in pop/rock, or whatever genre.  And I had been listening to something by Joni Mitchell and then something by Madison Cunningham, then something by Melody Bardot.  That playlist of. mine ended and Roon put on songs, one of which was Wayfaring Stranger, by Eva Cassidy.  

The Roon software is pretty great.  It is wonky here and there.  

@jbhiller  - Got it. Roon discovery algorithm. Just proves the machines are smarter than the humans! It knows what you want...

As a side note, I've discovered a ton of great music via Spotify's discover weekly algorithm. Oh, and via Radio Paradise...

You should not listen to artists like Eva Cassidy. She ruins for most other singers making them seem ordinary.

Nightbird is a solid recommendation, but before Live at Blues Alley (1996), Eva got together with Chuck Brown for an album of duets titled "the other side" (1992), that I would also recommend for Cassidy fans. My personal favourite song is "Time after time" from the album of that name, but this can be found on disc two of Nightbird !!. After Eva's death a lot of tracks were "recycled" and appeared on follow up albums, some care is needed to avoid unneccessary duplication.

On Nightbird listen to Over the Rainbow! Another mind-blowing renditions of this song!  Enjoy!

@whart Bill, is the band, Air, you mentioned the French electronic band of the name or something different? 

Whart's so wise, sometimes when he writes, I see puffs of smoke in the Austin skyline. Brainpower!



@sbank: Spencer it is this album The smoke you see is my brain frying-- does your head get hot when you think? :)


PS: Ken Golden turned me onto this record.

From Ted Gioia’s wonderful article (link below) on Eva:


"...For example, I sit in rapt admiration when I hear Cassidy sing the old folk ballad “Wayfaring Stranger”—which she turned into a soulful groove number. If you want to know how strange that decision was, listen to the way this song was originally sung. It’s one of the starkest traditional songs in the whole Anglo-American canon, and even though it has been updated, usually by country or folk singers, none of those versions even begins to prepare us for what Eva Cassidy achieves.

I call particular attention to how she raises her ambitions and intensity with each passing chorus—and 3:40 into the performance you feel she can’t possibly lift the level of her singing any higher. But she reaches deep, deep inside and delivers something you have to hear to believe.

It gives me chills to listen to this. But nobody talks about Eva Cassidy as a soul singer—and simply because there’s so much else she does, you could miss a track like this. But don’t."


Here is the conclusion of his piece...

"But in a way she did achieve that somewhere over the rainbow—that place where, as the lyrics promise, “the dreams you dare to dream come true.” Her songs have given her the kind of immortality that Shakespeare and Villon and the poets have written about, and which only art confers. We benefit from it, even if she didn’t. And still do after twenty-five years. I just wish she was here to see how it all turned out."


Read the entire article here:

The Tragedy Of Eva Cassidy - Ted Giola

BTW - Ted has a terrific newsletter on music and arts.  Well worth the subscription cost.

Additionally....Don’t miss the ABC Nightline program on Eva and much more detailed in this link to an earlier discussion on this forum.

More comments and links for Eva Cassidy

Her version of "Over the Rainbow", mentioned above, is incredible. You wouldn’t think anything more could be done with that venerable song, but Eva’s version is a testament.


She could sing any style of music and do it better than the foremost performer in that style.  And therein lies the reason she never attracted a big record contract. 
Producers couldn’t pigeonhole her in any one genre to market her.

Simply  the best!

Off topic, but another singer with an incredible voice who died at a similar age was Karen Carpenter. Also incomparable.
But of course she had tremendous commercial success in her short life.

Eva had the ability to interpret a song. She could add an essence or a substance to a song that creates a wondrous awe in me that leaves me baffled as to why it's touching me so deeply. It's hard to pick one song, but her rendition of "Autumn Leaves" is certainly one that stands out in this regard.

Whoa, she is good!  many thanks for this thread.

You might try Hans Theesink. Dutch, now based in Vienna.  Does a great job with blues reinterpretation.

Thanks again; I am very much enjoying Eva's music.

I like Hans too! 

Thank you all for the positivity on this thread. Not a single snarky response.  Probably hard to be negative when Eva is the subject matter at hand! 

As with Aretha Franklin, Eva would make a song her own. Over The Rainbow, Fields Of Gold, forget the original’s!

'Live at Blues Alley' is the ONLY album in 20 yearsmy wife has ever asked me to turn up the volume 90on.